Movie Review: Facing the GiantsQuick Plot Summary: A football coach who is looking at possibly being fired and is having other family struggles, in desperation turns to the Lord and learns to put his faith into practice by giving his all, win or lose. He imparts those same principles to his football team and the circumstances in both his team and his personal life begin changing.
Suggested Ages: 11+
This entertaining and encouraging movie from Sherwood Baptist (Fireproof, Courageous) was made on a shoestring budget with a lot of volunteer actors, and while you can definitely tell that, it does NOT really take away from the movie too much. You will certainly not confuse the production quality of this movie with some Hollywood-produced film, but it is sufficient - and lightyears ahead of Sherwood's first effort, Flywheel. The acting was "alright" (not great, but not really bad either) and believable enough to tell the story without you getting grandly distracted by the acting.
Some Christians have criticized this movie as portraying that once you become a Christian and trust Christ everything in your life becomes perfect. While I understand that criticism, I really don't think that's what the filmmakers were trying to convey. The message in this film is that when you follow Christ, nothing is impossible - that there is nothing impossible with God - and that with faith in God (and living an "excellent" life - i.e. the "works" part of the "faith without works is dead" thing) and when you desire for God to get the glory, that God is able to do beyond what we could even imagine. Which to me is really good stuff!
That message was the clear message of the movie. But in order to show that message in a movie-format, they pretty much had to show a bunch of hard/impossible-looking situations that became better when Christ was put at the center. A side-effect of doing that is it could give the impression that everything always goes 100% A-OK in this life for believers that are really following Christ and want Him to get all the glory, which many of us know is not necessarily reality. But the movie never really says that - in fact, by the simple fact that the team in the movie continually makes a decision to praise God *whether* they win or lose, shows that they realize they might not win the games even with "doing everything the best they could for God" etc.
If you take this movie at face-value for those messages and avoid reading in any other supposedly "implied" messages (i.e. avoid applying messages that the movie really wasn't actively promoting), I believe you will find it to be an excellent film. Given the fact that the movie does perhaps raise some of these questions though - and can actually unintentionally hit nerves with some people on subjects like infertility - this is an EXCELLENT conversation piece among family/friends/church groups after watching this movie!
This movie also has a lengthy scene in it that is so powerful that it's even gained notoriety in non-Christian circles: the Death Crawl scene. I won't spoil it except to say that it is definitely a memorable scene and really showcases how negative inner beliefs about ourselves and what we think is possible can really hinder us.
All things considered, this is an entertaining film that also has some very encouraging and worthwhile messages that will uplift you in your faith.
Reviewed by Christopher Long,