Considering that the budget for Flywheel was $20k and Facing the Giants was $100k, Fireproof upped the ante once again to $500k. And it showed. This film looked and sounded great. It was an all volunteer crew. Even Kirk Cameron, who is worth millions, worked for free because he so believed in this project and wanted to see God and His institution of marriage lifted up. And for the Truth to be told.
The movie was mostly one of anguish in which the two key characters are trying to live their lives and find contentment outside the will of God. But there were also many funny moments just like in the previous Kendrick movies. The key theme is one of marriage and what it takes to make it work successfully and all for the glory of God. As fallen sinful creatures, we all need help in this department since we are incapable of doing it on our own, regardless of what our flesh and society may tell us. And this is the journey that Kirk Cameron's character Caleb Holt must go through. His marriage would have no doubt burned into ashes quickly had it not been for Caleb's parents who got saved a few years back.
They have been praying for their son's marriage but now it's time for them to step into the battle to render aid before it's too late. And what an influence parents have in the lives of their children! It is paramount when they are growing up but it does not stop after they move out on their own. That's exactly what we see; a father who knows the Lord and will do whatever it takes in time, effort and heartfelt talks to get his son to see the Truth.
While I had many favorite scenes in the movie, my favorite favorite ;-) had to be when Caleb was sitting in the campground and his father asks him how Catherine has been reacting to his attempts at reconciliation. As Caleb tells his father how she despises him, hurts him and rejects him effectively spitting in his face, his father has slowly circled around to lean against the cross. He then asks his son if that reminds him of anything. And that's when Caleb comes smack up against his rebellion towards God. He denies that he has been rejecting the God who gave him life but his father disagrees. Dad presses home the point that God loves him and has given him all that he has. But Caleb can't give true love to his wife because he doesn't have it to give. That's where my heart broke because it reminded me and the life I lived before He graciously reached out and saved me from the brink of an eternity without Him.
There's plenty more I could talk about. One issue I had with the film was this above scene and its presentation of the Gospel. The father did lead Caleb though the law and showed him how he stood guilty before God, how it would condemn him to Hell and that no good works would come even close to bribing the Judge to think differently. Caleb needed Christ as we all do. Where the writers dropped the ball, I feel, is that they did not explicitly talk about repentance. The Bible is VERY clear in that REPENTANCE and FAITH are needed for Biblical salvation. Now, in a later scene, Caleb does admit that he has asked God for forgiveness and maybe that will be enough for some to "connect the dots" but I would have preferred that it happened back in the campground scene.
Speaking of connecting the dots, have a read over these two commentaries from the people over at Breakpoint (the web site presence of Chuch Colson's ministries):
Making Marriage 'Fireproof' (the paragraph of interest comes near the end)I REALLY can't understand Mark Earley's comment, "And, in my opinion, the movie’s step-by-step presentation of the Gospel was a little over the top." I was flabbergasted when I read a week ago and still am in a state of confusion trying to explain that one. Even worse was that second commentary by Zoe Sandvig which makes about as much sense. Apparently it's impossible to make a good film if you are completely clear about the Gospel. Guess we should just leave that to the Bible and not bother to express it any other way. Pah-leeze.
On another topic, for those interested in the music from the movie, it is available on iTunes and includes songs from Third Day, Casting Crowns, John Waller and more. There are also several books that might pique your interest:
Fireproof (the novel based on the screenplay; I've read it and it contains more info)Either you or someone you know will likely find the Fireproof My Marriage web site helpful.
The Love Dare (in its 4th printing & ranked 28th on Amazon)
Fireproof Your Marriage Study (DVD)
Fireproof Your Life (I'm looking forward to reading this next)
Preparing For Rain (I'm just about done with this and it's very good)
Still Growing (Kirk Cameron biography, I've read this and it's good as well)
And here's some of the latest press articles:
'Fireproof' Opens, Offering Hope For Troubled MarriagesIn closing, if you haven't seen this movie, go see it! If you have, be sure to tell everyone you know about it to try and convince them to see a wholesome movie that might unbeknownst to them may very well help their marriage or give them the Truth of the Gospel.
'Fireproof' Makes Hollywood Premiere
REVIEW: If You See One Movie This Year....
Director Recounts Making Of 'Fireproof'
I was happy to see the box office numbers for the opening weekend. Fireproof took in $6.5M. Compare that to the opening weekend for Facing the Giants which took in $1.3M and topped off at $10.1M after 15 weeks. Looks like we can expect to see more from Sherwood and the Kendrick brothers. Praise God!
To everyone who has seen this movie, I'd like to hear about what you thought about it so comment away!