- About Us
Reply to comment
Facing the Giants – Film Review
By Steve Smith
Facing The Giants joins one man as he hits rock bottom and finds the solution to his problems.
Based on a standard American football film plot, Facing the Giants joins coach Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick, who also wrote and directed the film) at a Christian high school which is struggling to keep its school football program alive. His team, the Shiloh Eagles, have not had a winning season in over six years. When they lose their third game in a row to the worst team in the league, a group of parents scheme to have him dismissed as head coach.
At home, the coach has other problems when his car won't start, his home is falling down, he and his wife can't conceive, money is running out, and most people just don't like him. Overwhelmed by fear and failure, Grant turns his situation and the future of the Shiloh Eagles over to God in prayer. After some reflection he faces up the Shiloh's asking, “What is the purpose of this team?” and then stating “God put us here to honour Him. If we win every game and we miss that, we’ve done nothing. Football is just one of the tools we use to honour God.” Without giving too much away, there follows an amazing turning point in the lives of all the characters involved.
Some churches have soup kitchens, and others have potluck dinners, but Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia has a ministry in creating major motion pictures. Facing the Giants opened in hundreds of theatres nationwide. It is a terrific example of what Christians can do when we stop hiding in our sanctuaries and boldly engage the culture.
More than five hundred volunteer members of Sherwood Baptist Church took part in creating Facing the Giants, from directing and acting to serving meals. Jim McBride, executive producer and Sherwood’s pastor, says modern technology enabled them to make the movie. The digitalization of film has dramatically lowered the cost of movie-making. McBride explains, for too long, Hollywood has stereotyped Christians in a negative light, but now, “The lower cost of producing movies is going to enable grassroots Christians to more accurately portray who they are.”
Sherwood got into the movie business after reading a Barna report showing that films are more influential today than churches. If that is true, Sherwood’s leaders decided, then they had better start making some films themselves.
Sherwood is absolutely right. For too long, Christians were AWOL from cultural engagement. They thought getting involved in politics was the answer. Politics and moral issues are very important’, but as Claes Ryn notes in the American Conservative, “Society’s long-term direction is . . . set by those who capture a people’s mind and imagination.” More than politicians, that’s people in the media.'1
What people said
Hannah Goldwyn from CBN commented: “Audiences will see a real life testimony of God's power and mercy in Facing the Giants. It has a lesson for everyone to learn from trusting God when you feel like your situation is hopeless to honouring your parents.”
Meanwhile Phil Boatwright from the Baptist Press said: “Facing the Giants 'had the usual cinematic shortcomings associated with well-meaning Christian movie making. During the opening sequences, both the actors and dialogue seem clumsy and forced. But as the film continues, something so sincere about the cast overshadows the handicaps of their amateur status.”
Whilst the first part of the film was slow getting into and some of the acting was a little wooden, it had its heart in the right place and emphasizes 'good lessons about honouring God in everything that we do, the importance of respect and leadership, and the power of prayer.'2 Good quality Christian films are notoriously rare and for a film produced by amateurs with a modest $100,000, it was a fantastic film and I would definitely recommend it.