Courageous is the story of men who confront danger every day as law officers but who discover that it is a bigger challenge to be good fathers and family men.
Sherwood Pictures, the faith-based film production company behind “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof,” gets closer with each film to matching its skill to its vision. “Courageous,” written by brothers Stephen (co-producer) and Alex (co-star and director) Kendrick. It is the story of four cops in Albany, Georgia. At work, they work to stop a drug smuggling ring. But the sheriff reminds them that drugs can appear appealing to people who are vulnerable because they do not have the support and attention of their fathers. It is their task as crime-fighters and as men, he explains, to be involved as fathers.
Adam Mitchell (Alex Kendrick) adores his daughter but has a hard time connecting to his son. And he is too often “too busy” to be there for both of them. Nathan Heyes (Ken Bevel) loves his children and moved them away from the city to keep them away from bad influences. But his son is intrigued by a new friend with a flashy car and his strict rules have made his teenage daughter pull away from him. He is adopted and never knew his own biological father. Shane Fuller (Kevin Downes) is divorced and shares custody of his son with his ex-wife. He makes up for their limited time and his own hurt about his parents divorce by acting more like a pal than a dad. And David Thomson (Ben Davies) has never acknowledged or supported his daughter by an ex-girlfriend. He left when she refused to have an abortion. The men befriend Javier Martinez (Robert Amaya), an immigrant who is having a difficult time providing for his family.
When Mitchell’s family suffers a devastating loss, Heyes’ adoptive father brings the men together for a formal ceremony to commit to a “Resolution” to honor God in every aspect of their family lives and then they bring it to their church, calling on other fathers to join them. When one of them makes a terrible mistake that separates him from his son, the fellowship of his brother officers helps him accept responsibility and seek forgiveness. The men also take on father duties for teenage boys who need their guidance.
The sincerity of this series of films and their willingness to present flawed characters in a spirit of understanding, compassion, and forgiveness make up for some predictability and inconsistency in experience in acting and filmmaking. It is a tribute to their vision and dedication that their movies have found such enthusiastic support and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
Parents should know that this film has drug dealing, a shoot-out, a sad death of a teenager, another child is taken hostage, and there are discussions of divorce, out-of-wedlock child, and abortion.
Family discussion: What is the hardest thing about being a good father? What can you do to be a better family member? How did the characters’ faith help to guide them?
If you like this, try: The Grace Card