Kirk Cameron has elevated his status as a serious actor another notch in the Christian action movie Fireproof which released in theaters September 26, 2008, and on DVD January 27, 2009.
Kirk Cameron captured the hearts of teenage girls as Mike Seaver on the television situation comedy, “Growing Pains,” which ran on the ABC network from 1985 to 1992. However, he felt empty inside until a friend’s father took him to church and Kirk Cameron found Jesus.(1) From that point on, the young actor was branded as a “Jesus freak” and ridiculed as a religious nut for trying to avoid television situations and language he felt compromised his faith. He has appeared in several television movies since then as well as the “Left Behind” movies, where as Buck Williams, Cameron earned some notice for his acting skills. (2)
However, it is in Fireproof where Kirk Cameron finally shows audiences what he’s made of as an actor. While Fireproof won’t win any serious Hollywood awards as a great film, it is an intriguing movie with a religious message. The overtly Christian message is well done, delivered with an impressively palatable blend of action, acting, humor and believability. Fireproof is not a church movie. It is a surprising hybrid of drama and message.
The Fireproof story-line revolves around Capt. Caleb Holt, a fireman who teaches his men the mantra, “You never leave your partner behind.” However, at home he has emotionally done just that. While his wife works to provide care for her aging and ailing parents, Caleb spends his off hours dreaming of the boat he will buy and watching pornography on his computer. As his marriage spins out of his control, his wife announces she wants a divorce, and to Capt. Holt, that comes almost as a relief. After all, everyone else sees him as someone deserving of respect, even a hero — everyone but his wife.
But one of Caleb’s friend, and then his own father won’t let him give up so easily. Caleb’s father lovingly coerces a promise from Caleb that he will wait 40 days before walking out, and that during those 40 days he will follow the simple steps in a journal his father sends him. Caleb keeps his promise — without any enthusiasm, but his wife continues to pursue her plans for a divorce. However, around day 20, Caleb realizes he does want to make his marriage work, and that he can’t do it alone.
Fireproof is full of exciting scenes of a firefighter’s job, and there is quite a bit of humor as the firemen tease each other and play pranks on one another. This is not a dry, preachy film. Even in the jesting scenes, however, Cameron manages to convey a sense of resigned, inner pain through his facade of a tough fireman. As Capt. Holt, Kirk Cameron successfully plays a courageous firefighter and a man’s man, but as Caleb Holt, husband and son, Kirk Cameron believably plays a strong man in great emotional turmoil, at a crucial crossroads in his life.
If you are not a Kirk Cameron fan, Fireproof might just change your mind. If you are a Kirk Cameron fan, or a fan of firefighters, you will definitely want to see Fireproof. If you are having problems in your marriage or know someone who is contemplating divorce, Fireproof may just give you a place to start in turning your own marriage around. I highly recommend Fireproof to anyone who enjoys a good movie with a message.
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