Adam Mitchell and Shane Fuller are just average deputies in an average Georgia city. They’ve seen humanity at their worst and have tried their best to not become desensitized to the world. But their mediocre existence is altered when they meet Nathan Hayes, a transfer deputy who truly lives out his faith and his commitment to his family. Hayes challenges them and a young deputy, David Thompson, and eventually a mutual friend, Javier Martinez, to commit to become better men and fathers, not to just settle for the status quo. They don’t take him very seriously until tragedy rocks all of their worlds and they are forced to truly look at what they believe in and what they are working towards in life. Yet as they each make their own decisions in response to the tragedy, they find that every choice has a consequence and the right way is hardly ever the easy way.
Production Quality (3 points)
In their largest budget at this point in time, the Kendricks minced nothing. They left everything on the proverbial production field. The camera work is masterful, from filming difficult action scenes with skill to bringing an overall high quality and professional look to the movie. The editing is at least average, especially when considering the large amount of plot content. There is an excellent balance between action and serene and even sad. Audio quality is excellent, including an effective soundtrack. Sets, locations, and props are very realistic. This was no doubt a difficult production to pull off, but the Kendricks did it very well.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Courageous follows a typical Kendrick storyline, including multiple subplots and non-linear elements. There are a lot of great attempts to develop characters through dialogue and realistic situations. The stories of the characters are intriguing and mostly relatable, even if it sometimes seems like there is a lot going on in the film. Many different issues are covered in the plot, which is both good and bad. Not everything turns out to be perfect, and many very relevant concepts are included. However, sometimes the storyline comes off as a bit disorganized, and sometimes the messaging it a bit too obvious. Moreover, there is plenty of good here, and many audiences will enjoy this film.
Acting Quality (3 points)
What else can be said about the acting coach talents of the Kendrick crew? Once again, seasoned actors are mixed with ‘average’ actors, and there is no difference. Kevin Downes, with years of acting experience, is no better or worse than Robert Amaya in his masterful acting debut. In addition, the Kendricks continue to show a commitment to diversity of actors, which something many Christian film makers struggle to do. As a whole, the Kendricks are consistently great in the categories of production and acting.
The Kendrick Brothers have definitely found a Christian movie-making model, and they are sticking with it. They have an audience, and they know what types of stories they want to portray and what types of characters they want to craft. There is always plenty of positive to find in their films, and their consistency puts many Christian film makers to shame, but one can see how this movie model can become pedestrian. In future films, they should consider retaining better screen-writing, but since they have something that works so well, it’s hard to see it changing.
Final Rating: 7.5 out of 10 points