Sunday, February 8, 2009
Fireproof-My personal movie review
I finally had the chance to watch the movie that most couples in my church have been raving over since September, Fireproof. For those of you unfamiliar, Fireproof is the story of firefighter Caleb Holt, played by Kirk Cameron, a fire captain that is a hero to everyone, except his spouse Catherine, played by Erin Bethea. The story follows the breakdown of the couple’s marriage and Caleb’s fight to help restore it by changing his attitude and his life.
For me, this movie had so many good points, I struggled with where to begin. The movie showed the relationships around both characters so well. My favorite was the activity between Caleb and his father. The relationship was shown as supportive, but realistic as his father encouraged him, but also called out faults as Caleb worked on the marriage. I loved the honesty between them. The best part of that honesty came toward the end of the movie as Caleb’s dad shared that The Love Dare, the 40 day book that helped Caleb, was what his father wrote down, but that the book was performed on him rather than by him by the father’s wife. Caleb’s mother was shown more as intrusive for most of the movie, but ended by showing the love that she had for both men all along.
The backdrop hero for me in this film is the character of Caleb’s co-worker at the fire station, Michael, played by Ken Bevel. Michael was the Christian foil for Caleb and there were many parts that drew admiration. The scene where he just missed being struck by the train as the company rescued a pair of ladies from a wrecked car was done brilliantly. As he limped around the car, I truly believed that he had been struck and was afraid that I was going to hear about part of an ankle being gone. He was not hurt, but even he showed the reality of being shaken by the near death experience. His consultations with Caleb throughout the movie were sheer magic as he helped Caleb understand how God was working to save the marriage. The scene shocker was the admittance from Michael that he had failed in his first marriage and explanation of why he valued marriage greatly was a great story of redemption. Everyone needs a friend who has had struggles like Michael.
One thing that bothered me a little was the lack of showing Caleb as being at least slightly supportive of Catherine’s need with her mother. Catherine’s mother had a stroke and had not talked for nearly a year and at no point, until the point where Caleb helped get the medical support that she needed, which was nearly the end of the film. I know that it was probably intentional to make Caleb look worse, but realistically, I couldn’t imagine someone not showing at least some concern with Caleb being in the field of fire and rescue. If I want heartless firefighters, I can always turn to Rescue Me, one of the most non-Christian shows about firefighters in history. I just struggled buying it knowing that I was watching a Christian movie.
Overall, I rate this movie as one of my all-time favorites. The movie came off as real, genuine cinema. I sat through the entire two hours and didn’t think about getting up once for refreshments. My wife wasn’t as impressed, but I can say this movie matched the hype given to it. If you are wanting a movie with a happy ending that will bring tears of joy to your eyes, Fireproof is a must see. Yes, as a guy, I can say I cried. It was an awesome romantic story.