"Fireproof." - DVD Review.

By Bob Zerull

2 1/2 Stars:

Kirk Cameron is back. Now we just need Candace to make a comeback. As many of you know Kirk Cameron is a very devout Christian. After the success of the movie “Facing the Giant” Kirk Cameron contacted Sherwood Pictures about being in their next movie. Sherwood Pictures is this little church/production company that is trying to make movies for Christians. They want to prove to Hollywood that there is an audience out there for faith based films.



I’ve seen “Facing the Giants” and I wanted to hate it so much. Truth is, it is a very watchable movie. It’s bad and ungodly unrealistic, but it is very watchable. What that movie had was a very powerful and moving scene regarding one player's calisthenics and a coaches challenge. As with “Facing the Giants,” I wanted to hate “Fireproof” too. I wanted to get on here and bash that movie for being the BS that it sounds like. However I can’t.

Did I like this movie? Not really, but again it was very watchable. The story moves well, really the biggest flaw is their version of God being shoved down your throat. I’m not an atheist, but I don’t know that I’d call myself a Christian either. Truth is that I don’t what’s out there. I’m open to the idea that there is a God or that Jesus is God, but to say I believe is a stretch. I say that because people cling to their beliefs and they judge others because they believe in something else. I personally think it is important to respect everyone’s beliefs.

Now that I’m off my soap box, “Fireproof” is a movie about a highly regarded fire fighter, Caleb Holt, played by Kirk Cameron, who feels he is not getting the respect he deserves at home. He switches from bad ass to dickhead just by walking into his house. I bought Kirk as the bad ass fire fighter. I didn’t think I would, but he did a fine job on that level. Kirk as a dick head felt kind of forced and I really didn’t buy him getting upset at his wife over some of the things he got upset at her for. Once I got past that the movie rapidly moves on.



Caleb seems to have come to grips that divorce is the only answer. Caleb vents to his father about his marital struggles. Caleb’s father ask to at least try the “Love Dare” which is a fictional book in the movie (although I believe the producers have since tried to cash in on the opportunity to actually create this book). The “Love Dare” is a 40 day dare that should save your marriage.

Twenty days into the dare, their relationship is not getting any better. Caleb is ready to quit. This is where the movie starts to lose me, because the only way for this dare to be successful is to find Jesus. That said, the tension in their relationship keeps you on edge until the end, even though you know they’re going to end up together.

One of the funny side stories about the making of this movie is that Kirk Cameron would not kiss Erin Bethea who played Catherine Holt, Caleb’s wife. Instead they shot the kiss from a distance with his wife in real life. Now this is a cool story and all, but if I’m not mistaken, Will Smith has never really had a love scene up until the movie “Seven Pounds.” The only reason he had a love scene in “Seven Pounds,” was because his wife in real life, Jada Pinkett Smith, told him too. Yet you never really hear anything about that.

All in all it is a watchable movie that slams God in your face. “Fireproof” as well as “Facing the Giant” would have been so much more effective is the Jesus stuff was much more subtle. However this movie wasn’t made for me or for anybody questioning their faith. This movie is made for those that are locked into their beliefs and are interested in having those beliefs challenged - which is fine. Since that was the intent of the filmmakers, I have to say that this movie accomplished what it set out to accomplish, which is pander to the diehard Christian audience. The highlight of this movie is an intense scene on the train tracks where Caleb and the other fire fighters attempt to move the car off the tracks while a train is coming. Yes you’ve seen this in every cartoon since you were a child, but they do quite a good job of nailing this scene.



BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Email him your thoughts at: bzerull19@gmail.com.

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