For an introduction to this series, click here.
Oct. 10, 2006
So I went to see Facing the Giants instead. Facing the Giants is a story about a Christian school football team. Most sports movies are very predictable, and so are most Christian movies. This movie certainly doesn't stray too far from those expectations, but it's not bad. Most of the story focuses on the coach, a young husband struggling to make it. It brought back a lot of horrible memories from when I was teaching in Christian schools. He has to deal with a lot of politics between administrators, parents, students and fellow coaches, and he's likely to be fired. But with the help of a strange man who walks the halls praying by each locker for the student it represents, he begins to turn the team's fortunes and the lives of his players around. The school sees a spiritual revival followed very closely by a revival of the football team's success.
There are a lot of positive messages in this movie, about trusting in God and praising Him even when things are going bad. One of the memorable lines from the movie is when the man I mentioned above tells the coach about a farmer who prayed for rain, and then went out and plowed his fields preparing for rain. Later in the movie, when the team is in the state championship game, the coach makes a strange strategy decision, and the assistant asks, "What are you doing?" And the coach replies, "I'm preparing for rain."
There are a couple of really bad deus ex machina plot twists (I guess this sort of defines the term, since it is a Christian movie) but they don't detract too much from the overall message. Yes, this is clearly a movie with a message. It's certainly not as specific as I would like to see, but it's about as specific as you can get from a mainstream Christian movie. Even though it was distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Pictures, which I assume is a division of MGM, you could tell it wasn't quite as high production value as most Hollywood movies. The sound was stereo instead of surround. Maybe it was just the theater I was in, and maybe it wouldn't matter to most people, but I noticed it, and I doubt I am the only one who would have noticed such things.