Courageous is not the run-of-the mill Hollywood-type popcorn blockbuster entertainment movie, but rather a Christian film that celebrates the importance of family values, especially fatherhood.
The movie portrays the attitudes of five men – four police officers and a Hispanic odd-job labourer – towards their responsibilities as fathers.
The turning point of the movie occurs when police officer Adam Mitchell (Alex Kendrick) loses his young daughter in an accident. In his regret for not spending enough quality time with his daughter, he decides to re-examine his parenting skills.
Mitchell realises how little he has bonded with his children: He had refused to dance with his daughter, regarding it as being un-macho, and had also refused to be involved in his son’s passion for running.
Mitchell then decides to be more than just a “good enough” dad by studying what the Bible says about parenting. He draws up a parenting code and ropes the other four men in making a public vow to uphold the code in the presence of a pastor.
The movie then examines how each man fares when faced with dilemmas.
While the movie can be at times slow and preachy, this is more than made up for by its inspiring parenting message. The film opens a window of reflection at the start of the year – for families, and especially fathers – on the kind of family life they would like to create.
Christian values such as honesty, integrity, faith, forgiveness and repentance are also highlighted in the movie.
Although Courageous has its entertaining moments such as criminal chase scenes and gunfights, those seeking to be merely entertained will feel somewhat short-changed.
However, if one seeks to feel inspired and challenged, then Courageous would be a movie that would set you thinking about your own family life, perhaps leading to a special new year’s resolution.
Courageous is rated PG and is screened at Cathay Cinemas from Jan 5 for about two weeks. There will be two public screenings daily at 7.10pm and 9.50pm daily from Jan 5-11, before being reduced to one daily screening at all Cathay locations from Jan 12.
Please check with individual parishes for any parish-organised screening sessions.
By Darren Boon