It takes a compelling story to get a woman who has no interest in sports to sit through a football movie. I've enjoyed the occasional baseball movie, but football seemed too much to bear. To be honest, what I had heard about "Facing the Giants" didn't help. My daughters didn't like it. It was too didactic, too obviously Christian, said the reviews. But somehow, it seemed to resonate with audiences, so, out of curiousity, I decided to make myself sit through this film to see where the magic was. Did Christians just go see this out of loyalty to their faith or rebellion against the Hollywood trash? While I don't see anything wrong with these motives, they're not enough to make a film as popular as "Facing the Giants"was. This film, made by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, surprised Hollywood.
The story begins with Grant Taylor, a Christian high school football coach, good man who just has his entire world caving in on top of his head; a losing team, meagre finances, a clunker of a car, and nagging home repairs. The only bright spot is his loving wife, Brooke, who doesn't join in the general consensus that her husband can't do nothin' right. Even though one of his failures is his inability to give her the child they both long for. So, what's a man to do?
Is there anyone reading this who hasn't been where this man has been, feeling hopelessly inept at everything that matters in life? Have you, like Grant Taylor, turned to God in surrender at this moment, offering Him your life?
I have, and what touched me about this film, is the Taylor's prayer, "Jesus, even if nothing changes, we love You, and praise You." That's grace under pressure; that's true Christianity. That is what moved me to tears, and got me involved, despite the football theme. People that faithful deserve answers to their prayers. But they're not the only ones praying. There's the man in the wheelchair who cheers on his insecure son, and prays for his success as he tries to turn his soccer kick into a football kick. There's the old man who comes by the school regularly, praying for revival.There's the unassuming school janitor who tells coach Taylor he's been praying for him. These prayer warriors are noticed in this film as they seldom are in real life, they are credited for causing the wave of faith which washes over Shiloh High School. Then there's the charity which Grant's revived faith inspires, as he chides one of his football players to show his father respect, the very man who was conspriring to have Grant replaced as the Eagles' coach.
This film teaches a solid, inspiring lesson about faith, that it isn't really faith till the chips are down, and you love God for Who He is, not for what He does for you. And courage isn't courage, unless you overcome that queasy feeling in your stomach, and face your fears head on.
There's precious little strength of character shown in films today. Characters prey upon one another, engage in meaningless relationships, and lose hope. Hollywood is dominated by so many films are pointless, cheerless wastes of time, that one can't help cheering for the Eagles as they face the Giants. So what if we can guess how it ends.
The only danger in films like"Facing the Giants" is that sometimes, the good people pray, and pray, and pray, and nothing changes. We have all experienced that, and it's as real as the positive outcome the Christians in this movie experience. We'll save that theme for another, deeper film. Enjoy this movie for what it is: a parable in a football medium. And what's a good football movie without cheering?
Reccomended for all ages. Including those who don't understand football. There is something here beyond football which is worth watching.