courageousMen of Honor

Stars: Alex Kendrick, Kevin Downes, Ben Davies, Ken Bevel, Renee Jewell, Elanor Brown, Robert Amaya, Angelita Nelson, David Howze and Tony Stallings
Director: Alex Kendrick
Scriptwriters: Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
Sherwood Pictures/Sony
Rating: PG 13 for violence
Running Length: 124 minutes

The Kendrick family and Sherwood Pictures have come out with a fourth inspirational film. The first three were Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof.  Now, the subject of lawn enforcement in Courageous is tackled and what to do in family situations with job conflicts and what to do on the job with family conflicts. It is not a perfect world nor an easy life. We meet four police officers, Adam (director/scriptwriter/actor Alex Kendrick), Nathan (Ken Bevel), Shane (Kevin Downes) and David (Ben Davies.), plus their friend, Javier (Robert Amaya.)

There are actually two stories going on in Courageous. Adam, a police officer, is married to Victoria (Renee Jewell) and has two children, a daughter and son, plus it is a faith-filled home. Then, in another area of town, Javier, a laborer, is married to Carmen (Angelita Nelson) and they have three children. One of the humorous moments of the film is how they meet, with Javier praying for a job and getting it from Adam by mistaken identity. When tragedy strikes Adam’s family, their faith is tested, and the family struggles to persevere. In his life, Javier’s faith is tested, also, and both men stand firm. This leads to Adam deciding to be a better father by writing a pledge he and his friends sign. However, even officers of the law are tempted and what to do if you suspect someone of wrong-doing? And in Nathan’s case, how to protect your daughter, Kayla (Elanor Brown) from boyfriends such as Derrick (David Howze). All this with normal family life, humorous interludes and the life of a police officer when bullets mean harmful situations. God is at work here, but how?

The film asks the question of parenting and leadership. Fathering a child does not a father make-----you must love that child and be interested in what they do and help them to become a good person. Not an easy task as shown in “Courageous.” One special moment in the movie I could relate to,  is when Nathan takes his teenage daughter, Kayla, out for a dress-up dinner. He gives her a ring to symbolize that he is her father and will always be there for her. Actually, this is an old European custom that my father did for me and I still have the ring.

Each film from the Kendrick group improves and

Courageous is the best so far. Dialogue can be sermonizing at times, and at over two hours, the film is a bit long. Courageous is definitely a religious film with direct references to God. I think that director/scriptwriter/actor Alex Kendrick should step back from a major acting role in future films, because he doesn't seem to “be there” when it counts. There is no voice change or facial expression. Kevin Downes as Shane, shows facial expression, as does Robert Amaya as Javier and his scene of doing a favor for Adam is hilarious. He plays it to the hilt. The film was done with a smaller budget and many actors are really volunteers from the area where this was filmed (Georgia.)

Courageous shows that faith and friends do help to building not only your inner core but of those around you. That inner circle of peace and confidence expands and expands again. God does, indeed, work in unusual ways.

Copyright 2011 Marie Asner