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Another Christian drama from Sherwood Pictures Ministry (the same people who made Fireproof and Facing the Giants), Courageous is about four policemen who are trying to bust up a local drug ring. After the Sheriff reveals a link between fatherless children and criminal activity later in life and a horrible incident occurs in one of their families, the story shifts to the policemen taking up the Sheriff's challenge to be better fathers. As the story unfolds, each of the police officers with perhaps one exception is shown striving to be the best father he can be according to The Bible.
Officer Adam Mitchell (Alex Kendrick) hopes to reconnect with his son, Dylan (Rusty Martin Jr.). Nathan Hayes (Ken Bevel) attempts to form bridge of trust between himself and his teenage daughter as she navigates through dating (or not dating). Divorcé Shane Fuller (Kevin Downes) tries to be a good role model to his son, while David Thomson (Ben Davies) begins a journey to rediscover his old girlfriend and the child he had with her. During all this, another family enters the scene and Javier Martinez (Robert Amaya) makes a late addition to the challenge as he battles living life honestly in a corruptive workforce.
Surprisingly better quality than prior films by Sherwood (not just with the script but also with the overall filming itself), Courageous is an inspirational film with surprising twists, good comic relief and a passion for Christian principles.
- An Aesop: This being a Christian drama it’s inevitable.
- As the Good Book Says...: The characters spend a good bit of time discussing what The Bible says about being a good parent.
- Badbutt: Due to being a Christian film, the cops are often shown doing pretty spectacular things, minus the profanity and the smoking, drinking etc.
- Bilingual Bonus: Javier's Lunch Order of Doom
- Cops and Detectives: duh...
- Disappeared Dad: Officer Thomson is this having left his child before she was even born to flee responsibility.
- Daddy's Girl: Adam Mitchell's daughter before she dies...
- Good Cop, Bad Cop: Well, in a film about cops... yeah.
- Good Parents: In contrast to all the other fathers' issues with their families, the Martinez's seem to have things together in that regard.
- Nothing but Hits: Taken to another level with nothing but Southern Christian hits.
- One Steve Limit: Subverted and Played for Laughs with Javier.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: At the end. they're not cops for nothing!
- Police Are Useless: Subverted. Not only are the police useful on the job, they're trying to be useful in their whole lives too.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Nathan Hayes comes across as this to the teenagers in his life, despite what they initially think.
- Secret Test of Character: Javier is convinced that refusing to fudge the numbers will cost him his job...
- Shout-Out: At one point, Adam's watching TV and the dialogue about a local fire sounds oddly familiar...
- The Cynic: Shane Fuller often plays this role in conversations, but usually gets talked down or convinced that he's being... well, the cynic.
- The Everyman: Adam Mitchell is meant to fill this role so what does that say about The Everyman when he wields a gun in an epic shoot-out with some nasty gangbangers?
- The Idealist: In contrast to Shane Fuller, Nathan Hayes is often this to the group. Somewhat of a Reconstruction of the trope, as he's definitely looking on the bright side, but he's also not sitting back waiting for good things to happen.
- The Unfavorite: Dylan seems to feel this way in the beginning.
- Writer on Board: Did we mention it's a Christian movie intended to teach An Aesop about being a good father?