Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Facing the Giants" Review

Eight months ago, I wrote about the movie "Facing the Giants." No theaters northeast of Philadelphia were showing it, so I never got to see it. But my family recently bought the DVD.

Initial reaction
Best. Movie. Ever.

It was inspiring, it was heartbreaking, it was funny. A lot of movies can be those, but because of the overt reliance on God portrayed in the movie, it overwhelmingly surpasses any other secular or "undercover Christian" film. ("The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" excepted, since I haven't yet seen it. I'm sure it's great too.)

This movie was the most realistic to my experiences, because God was a part of the character's daily lives. "Family-friendly" secular movies, though good, do not have this aspect, and they are utterly devoid of importance compared to "Facing the Giants."

Faithful representation of truth
One thing I especially appreciated was that biblical truths were realistically portrayed. Usually you must die to your dearest desires before the Lord will bless you.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit." (John 12:24)
Another truth was that you can't just ask God to bless the football team and expect amazing changes if your heart is not devoted completely to Him. God won't just give you what you want because you're saved. You must be completely, honestly, given to the Lord in all areas of your life.

Things I got out of it
Another thing that made this movie different from all others is that it is truly inspirational. It challenged me: am I going to give God my best? Will I be a leader even when I'm weak?

I was impressed also with the idea that we are to entrust all outcomes of situations to God, sacrificing what we want, but still give Him our best efforts.

Then praise Him no matter what, because He led us.

This is pictured in a quote from the character of Mr. Bridges: "I heard of a story of two farmers praying to God for rain to come. Both prayed but only one prepared the land. Who do you think trusted God more to send the rain?"

Favorite quotes
All these quotes reveal what truths impacted me. There are so many ways they can be applied to daily life!

Coach Taylor to his wife, Brooke:
"If the Lord never gives us children, will you still love Him?"

"So you think God does care about football?"
Coach Taylor: "I think He cares about your faith; He cares about where your heart is. If you live your faith out on the football field, then yes, God cares about football because He cares about you."

Coach Taylor: "But it's not just out on the football field: we've got to honor Him in our relationships, in our respect for authority, in the classroom—and when you're home alone surfing the Internet."

Coach Taylor: "[In order for God to do great things with this team,] we need to give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him; and if we lose we praise Him. Either way. We honor Him with our actions and our attitudes."

Coach Taylor: "Your attitude is the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart's not right."

Coach Taylor: "I've resolved to give God everything I've got and leave the results up to Him."

Brooke Taylor to God: "I will still love you, Lord!"

Coach Taylor to Brock: "This is when it matters most. I know you're tired. It's easy to lead when you're strong, but now is when you lead! Right now!"

Coach Taylor to David: "Your job is to do the best you can and leave the results up to God."

Oh what joy is possible when we seek to honor and glorify God with everything we have—from the secret places of our hearts to every attitude and action!


BrittLeigh said...

Outstanding review! I'm glad you finally got to see it.

I appreciated the very Christian message throughout the entire film... and my heart pumped extra hard in sympathy for Brooke Taylor over the stinking dead rat her husband teased her with. Sigh. That would so be me!!! :)

I was blessed by the ways God moved throughout the story-line when His people were willing to surrender everything.

Granted, I thought parts of it were a bit on the "unrealistic" side, but then, that's how movies are... and when you serve God, He specializes in working in such ways. ;)

("The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" excepted, since I haven't yet seen it. I'm sure it's great too.)

Yes, it is a great movie. I've seen it a couple times and would have to admit that it's one of the very few (if only!) movies that are actually better than the book. At least, I think so.

Miss Stephanie said...

I agree with your entire review, as I have seen this movie and been mightily blessed by it. It challenged me to live my life for Christ, and to pursue Him first, and "still love Him". By the way, your post on the Rebelution was very good.

Daniel said...

I really liked the story line, but both the acting and directing lacked polish - at times the story was moving and profound, even if utterly predictable (the carrying the other football player scene), but in many places the direction and acting were no better than a local high school production.

I should have liked for there to have been better lighting in many scenes, better footage selected for the football scenes, but such are small things compared to the places where the emphasis ought to have been far heavier than it was - and the overemphasis of other parts.

I am being critical of course - the story was great, and if they had snipped out the "brand new truck thing", spent more time showcasing the way the Lord changed Taylor's life, and how that bled into others rather than glossing over it and forcing you to presume more than what was being shown - I think this could have been a very excellent movie. They should have shown Taylor's repentance in a more tangible way - to have him maybe see that his moral life was only moral according to man's standards, and to show in some way his struggle to surrender himself to God's standards - more failure rather than more success would have been so powerful - it seemed to me he just sort of wept once, then washed his face and voila! Mr. changed man. In any genuine repentance - that is the very, very, very last rung on a long ladder - I think (and I am just harping it here) that this one thing needed to be flushed out far more than it was.

Notwithstanding - I liked it, and I watched it twice in a row when I rented it. I got excited watching it, and would recommend it without hesitation.

Ryan said...

I didn't mind any deficiencies in the lighting or technical issues, but I do agree with your assessment of the story itself, Daniel. So often repentance and revival are slower-moving and based on much failure. One thing that was noticeably lacking was an apology from Taylor to the team for yelling at them. It appeared he was very angry and blew up at them, then the next game he introduces playing for the Lord.

But still, good movie, like you said. :)

Eena Aguilar said...

‎" Your job is to do the best you can and leave the results up to God! "

Hope we do all our best in everything that we do and give all the glory to our God Almighty.

Just accept him in your hearts and the rest will surely follow!

This is a good movie to remember all that we need to do in our lives with regard to our faith. It is very uplifting and inspirational!

And yes, I will still love God no matter what!