“Fireproof” What a Burning Surprise

Genres: Drama
Running Time: 2 hrs. 2 min.
Release Date: September 26th, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic material and some peril.
Distributors: Samuel Goldwyn Films, Affirm Films
Directed by: Alex Kendrick

JJ Rating: A-

Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) is a fireman who is great at his job and great at being Captain, but in his marriage he fails at being a husband. Catherine Holt (Erin Bethea) wants a divorce. Caleb enlist the help of his father and receives a book that has him take 40 days to try and turn his marriage around. Fireproof.

I use Rottentomates.com to see if a movie is worth seeing based on the grade. I also look at Yahoo! at the user’s grade. Yahoo! users give it an A. I was iffy because it’s Kirk Cameron and he’s religious and that’s cool, but their movies are not. I walked out of Facing the Giants because the acting was so horrible. I couldn’t stand it. But because of the A that the users gave I decided to give it a shot.

Ok, the acting was pretty good. It’s rated PG because of the fire sequences and some of the shouting, but there’s no foul language. Cameron has to yell and get in the face of his onscreen wife and he was fierce. I always say that one can pull off anger and mean without having to fall back on the easy four letter words or their cousins. Cameron’s acting didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I believed that he was this character and he was fed up. As for Bethea, during scenes where she had to cry or when she was afraid of Cameron’s yelling she was believable. They made a great pair. The chemistry was good.

The storyline was interesting, caring and predictable, but in a way that had meaning and heart. The 40 day wait to fix the marriage was smart idea. The request for each day for him to follow and continue to follow was smart. This is something that some who think they want a divorce (if it’s mainly just arguing) should give a try. It may not work for all but at least it’s doing something other than the OMG we had an argument lets divorce. (OMG = oh my God, just in case you didn’t know and it’s one of two text acronyms I use. The other being LOL. Mainly because OMG is fun especially after Gossip Girl used it for their promos; though they have a whole extra letter in there. Totally different story.) Caleb’s buddy at work had great analogy with salt and pepper as well as fire, which is where the title of the movie comes from. That character was needed because his insight was so astute.

One of the reasons to shy away from this kind of movie is the mention of God. If this makes some people roll their eyes well then be shocked that God stays out of most of the film until 3/4ths through. Then he pops in several times. They do it well enough that it’s not hindrance to the story or the central heart of the entire film.

An annoying aspect of Fireproof was the music. The music was a tad corny to me. I wish they had composed a better arraignment. It gets better towards the end but at the beginning it’s just drab and obnoxious. I’ve stated this before, for a Kevin Bacon movie I believe, that the music is important but it shouldn’t be noticed because then it just becomes something that’s annoying.

Fireproof is less preachy than Religiolus and I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It was a burning surprise to realize that I was getting emotionally invested in this film that was made by religious persons. Only because of the bad taste that Face the Giants left me with. Oh and before I conclude I’d like to state I’ve learned that black people might speak up during a Tyler Perry movie but white people speak up during a religious film like this one. A man had many comments for the screen. It was amusing. If you can withstand some mentions of God at the end of the film then I think this one will surprise more people at how much heart it has, as it surprised me.


The Judge said...

Hard to believe you sat through a Kirk Cameron movie.

Way to take one for the team, yet again!

J_Jammer said...

hahahaha....but I will not see talking dogs.

The Judge said...

A man's gotta know his limitations. Talking dogs is a pretty clear line.

ridge765 said...

Thank you for your honest review. 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.

We have a copy of the Love Dare book used in the film. I never thought this would be true of a plot device, but it's probably the most important thing I've done for our marriage in the recent past. DISCOUNT ALERT! I found them online at www.fireproofresources.com at a discount off the cover price--like six bucks off! Yay!

patrick said...

it was good to see such a different-flavored movie on the regular, big screen ... better than people's face's getting Sawed off

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