Fireproof

Fireproof
Directed By: Alex Kendrick
Written By: Alex & Stephen Kendrick
Starring: Kirk Cameron / Erin Bethea / Ken Bevel
Rating:

Fireproof is the latest film from Sherwood Pictures, which brought us Flywheel (2003) and Facing the Giants (2006). The film company is a part of Sherwood Baptist Church, which director Alex Kendrick is currently the pastor of.

Fireproof tells the story of Caleb and Catherine Holt, a couple whose marriage is starting to fall apart. Caleb is captain of the fire department and has his own personal demons to face. Catherine works in public relations at the hospital and has to deal with the flirtatious advances of one of the doctors there. Tensions rise between the couple and escalate into a threatening divorce.

Caleb’s father, played by Harris Malcolm, advises Caleb to try to save his marriage by following the directions of “The Love Dare”, a workbook of sorts in which the reader is assigned one task per day for 40 days.

The Kendrick’s have written a heartfelt story that succeeds as a wonderful look at what it means to love, both between married couples and also in a more personal relationship with God.

While being a film that deals with weighty issues, Fireproof balances the seriousness with a healthy dose of humor. This is largely due to the supporting characters in the film. I especially liked the interactions between Caleb and his next-door neighbor, Mr. Rudolph. It’s a recurring gag that works very well.

There is also a good amount of firefighting scenes that, while reminiscent of other firefighting films, such as Ladder 49, keep Fireproof alive. Between the drama, humor, and action, there is a rhythmic quality to the film.

I haven’t seen Kendrick’s previous films, so I can’t compare Fireproof to them. I have heard from people who have, however, and have remarked that the productions values seem to have increased. The overall quality looks good and the camera is operated well.

At times, though, Fireproof feels more like an after school special than a feature film. There are times when the dialogue feels too forward and rehearsed; one scene in particular that deals with a character’s faith in God comes to mind. While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with a scene like that, it ends up feeling more like someone reading from a tract, or in this case, a script.

Although the actors were better than I had previously expected, you can tell that it’s a predominately non-professional cast. I understand that they’re working with that they have and that it ends up saving a lot of money, but it definitely shows from time to time.

Aside from some of the issues that I had with Fireproof, it’s a film that I recommend watching. It’s smart, fun, and has a lot to say about love and marriage; something we can all learn more about.

Kirk Cameron as captain Caleb Holt

7 Responses

  1. I watched the trailer for this film for one of my podcasts, and remarked at the time, It had to be one of the worst cheesiest trailers I had ever seen. Glad to hear the movie wasn’t a complete dud.

  2. Interesting review Joseph, of a film I admit I never heard of. Has this actually opened? Did you see a screening? Or is it an older film that has eluded me? In any case nice recapitulation of the story and the film’s selling points as well as the issues you had with it.

  3. It opened last Friday in 839 theaters domestically. I’m not sure how widespread it is, but I do know that it is showing in PA as well.

  4. I saw the movie this past weekend and it was AWESOME! Sure, the actors (execpt for Kirk Cameron) are local but the story was great! It’s a lifechanger!

  5. My husband and I saw Fireproof together, and we were struck by the movie’s celebration of covenant marriage and unconditional love. So many movies today just insult marriage, promote affairs or portray marriage as joyless and worthless. Fireproof boldly proclaimed marriage as well-worth the sacrifice, yet didn’t back down from the fact that it’s at times difficult, even agonizing. Not only that, the film-makers didn’t just make a movie about marriage, they developed peripheral tools to make marriages stronger. We have a copy of the Love Dare book used in the film, as well as a “Couple’s Kit” which is a bible-study based on the film that couples can do at home or with a group. These have made a real difference in our ability to address and improve these areas in our own marriage, and they are probably the most important things we have done for our marriage this year. I found them online at http://www.fireproofoutreach.com.

    My advice: take your spouse, your fiancée, or someone who might be married someday and go see this film.

  6. I have little to actually say about your review. This comment is directed at what ridge 765’s comment.

    While the films qualities that you have stated are very good and often rare qualities for a film to have, I find that you have to earn the kind of praise you are giving the film with good filmmaking as well. A film isn’t good just because it follows your ideology. Now I do not know if you do enjoy the film for it’s filmmaking, writing, acting, etc. or just because you agree with it, and either way I don’t really care. I just find that Sherwood Pictures often seems to bent on preaching and not enough on making great films with excellence and craft.

  7. My wife and I saw the movie this weekend and enjoyed it. The acting was good, perhaps not excelent but neither was Start Wars. It is in my personal estimation the most important movie I have seen in thirty years. If you are married take your spouse and leave the kids behind. It is not slow but it is not a kids show either.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: