Saturday, September 13, 2008
Movie review: "Fireproof"
This past Tuesday my wife and I saw an early pre-release screening of Fireproof, the new movie from Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia, the same people who did Facing the Giants and Flywheel. (Can they make a movie that doesn't start with the letter "F"?)
The movie opens September 26 in 800 theaters across the country, but we were given the opportunity to see an early showing for ministers. They handed out tissue at first, and I gave the tissue to my wife and said, "Here, you may need this." She handed a piece back to me and said, "You may need it, too." She was right.
Fireproof is a better film than Facing the Giants for several reasons. For one thing, they spent more money on the movie, which made for better acting (professional actor Kirk Cameron played the fireman), better quality cinematography and more realistic action scenes. They spent $500,000 on this movie, which is a low-budget film by Hollywood standards, but Facing the Giants was done for $100,000.
But more importantly, the storyline of Fireproof was much more believable than Facing the Giants. There were no miracles in the sky, just a gut-wrenching, struggling marriage. The movie pulls no punches in showing how hard it is to work out a marriage. Men and women will relate to the characters, and it will force couples to evaluate how they treat the man or woman in their lives. The movie makes great use of humor, like in the former Sherwood movies, but this time the humor is more sophisticated, particularly the use of the recurring theme of the neighbor who watches the fireman lose his temper.
Fireproof is very clear about presenting the gospel, and does so in a way that is very appealing and reasonable. It shows how Christ is the answer to our struggles with marriage, and does so without preaching to the audience, rather, the movie lets the audience discover this truth alongside of the struggling husband and wife.
I enjoyed Facing the Giants, and while I enjoyed Fireproof, it was much more than that. Fireproof caused me and my wife to talk about our marriage relationship as we drove home. I believe that God will use this movie to strengthen good marriages and save struggling marriages. I would encourage anybody who is married and anybody who is thinking about getting married to go see this movie. When you do, don't thank me for recommending it. Don't even thank Sherwood Baptist Church for making the movie. Thank God, who made marriage.
NOTE: Read the first comment below for information about how you can get tickets for the showing our church has booked on Saturday, September 27.
UPDATE: The movie Fireproof opened on Friday night, September 26, and was the third most popular movie that night, even though it was only in 839 theaters, whereas the 5 movies that were behind Fireproof in popularity were showing on 2,500 screens.