Courageous: Call to action for fathers

By Blogger Laura Kipp

Laura Kipp

Courageous,” a Christian movie about a group of police officers experiencing fatherhood through the lens of their faith, was recently playing in Spokane.  It’s by Sherwood Pictures, who use many volunteer actors from their congregation, and who also made “Fireproof,” a popular story about marriage.  

Happily, the caliber of acting has improved in this latest film.  It is highly sentimental, but also exciting, poignant, and very wise. It is also funny, including a running joke about an officer’s embarrassment when he accidentally ends phone calls with his sergeant by saying “I love you.”

The film is a call to action for fathers. One of the first scenes lists statistics stating that children from fatherless homes are five times more likely to use drugs, and 20 times more likely to commit suicide, than those with fathers in the home.  

Although the plot is a bit flat, runs on a little, and has its fair share of predictable moments, it includes exciting cop chase scenes, and the tension is always balanced with wholesome wisecracking.  The cast is also refreshingly, seamlessly, interracial.

The movie has lots of applicable moments of intentional, active parenting, as well as thought provoking, albeit preachy, moments.  There is a compelling scene in which a father offers his daughter a promise ring to wear while she waits for the right man,  contrasted by a scene involving someone the daughter almost chooses to date, which gives us a peek into gang mentality. 

One insightful scene includes hopeful, faith-centered grief counseling. The film also shows positive examples of tender marriages, honesty under strain, and sets a template for concepts such as redemption, charity, commitment, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

One father learns the importance of taking advantage of spontaneous moments with his daughter, particularly, dancing with her.  A friend of mine, who has been a therapist for many years, once shared with me a concept I have never forgotten – she believes the ultimate moments of emotional engagement and transcendence are when a parent dances with their child.  

After a crisis, the dads decide to have a ceremony affirming their commitment to being godly fathers.  How excellent – we have ceremonies of commitment for marriage, why not for parenthood?

Ultimately, the movie left me thinking about apathy.  As a young Mormon, I was raised immersed in a religious community, where I made most of my friends.  It’s easy to take for granted what your truth is when you have been raised up in it.

This movie, however, compels fathers to examine their faith and fight harder to be more than just “good enough” dads; to improve, evermore, on the previous generation by treasuring their kids and teaching them about God.  It ends where it begins, again mentioning the sobering statistics involving gangs and drug use in fatherless homes.  It ends with a powerful, and empowering, call to action for fathers everywhere. It left me teary-eyed, and hoping to watch it one day again with my future family. 

Courageous” is no longer playing in Village Center Cinemas in Spokane, but will be out on DVD Jan. 12, 2012, and is rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content, and runs 130 minutes. 


One response to “Courageous: Call to action for fathers

  1. Thanks for this excellent, and honest review Laura!

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