Caleb Holt is successful in his career as a fire captain. He will risk his life for anyone, but he does not care about his marriage as it begins to fall apart around him. His wife, Catherine, has a successful career of her own and she is tired of the conflicts she continues to have with her husband. All Caleb seems to care about is his job, saving up for his boat, and looking for fulfillment from places other than his wife. Catherine is lonely and becoming hardened to her husband as she tries to care for her elderly parents and directs her attentions towards a nice doctor at the hospital she works at who gives her more attention than Caleb does. Caleb is ready to throw in the towel before his father steps in and gives him a forty-day challenge, The Love Dare, to try to save his marriage before signing the divorce papers. Little do Caleb and Catherine know that they are in for changes and trials beyond their marital discord.
Production Quality (3 points)
In keeping with the production spirit of Facing the Giants, Fireproof does not disappoint. The higher budget is maintained and even expanded, and it pays off. Difficult firefighting scenes are successfully executed, and diverse sets are used. The editing is concise, making for an easy viewing. As is the Kendrick norm, there are no caveats here.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2 points)
Another Kendrick movie, another solid Christian message packaged in a believable real-life plot executed by realistic characters. The plot is not too preachy as it is both evangelistic and discipling towards Christians. Strengthening weak and broken marriages is a very important message for viewers today, both Christian and non-Christian. This could not have been pulled off without imperfect and accessible characters, which there are in his movie. The usual comedy scenes are included. Yet there are a few caveats here. The plot is more linear than usual for Kendrick plots and the dialogue is lacking in some areas. But even with these issues, Fireproof makes other movies pale in comparison.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
The Kendricks departed from their usual model of only using ‘inexperienced’ actors by bringing in Kirk Cameron, but the transition is seamless. This is likely Cameron’s finest acting work to date. The same can be said for co-star Erin Bethea. The supporting cast is no worse in talent than these two, thus reflecting acting coaching success for the Kendrick crew.
Even when the Kendricks are not at their finest, they still rise to the top in the Christian movie industry. As their career has progressed, their quality has improved in all areas. Fireproof marked a huge turning point in many ways, if not only for their tackling of a timely message that many Christian movies either ignore or portray incorrectly. Yet this installment was only a harbinger of greater things to come.
Final Rating: 7.5 points