Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Let's Talk About War Room

So like so many others, I checked out the movie War Room. I saw it with a group of Christian friends and my wife on a Sunday afternoon. I enjoyed it, I would recommend it, but don't set your expectations too high. It's basically Fireproof with some Courageous, and a bit of Facing the Giants added in. I hate to say it was predictable and rehashed, but it was the same Christian movie we have been going to the theaters to see,  complete with inspiring speech at the end.

Let's face it,  as Christians we only know how to make three kinds of movies. It's gonna be about a family with a crisis of some sort, either in the marriage or parenting or both, it's going to be about Revelation, or it's going to be a Biblical story retelling.  Most of the Old Testament stories these days have been told by downplaying the actual text.  Exodus Gods and Kings and Noah were both pretty far away from the actual biblical text.  Anyway,  those seem to be the movies we have,  sometimes told by vegetables, sometimes with Charlton Heston and sometimes with Kirk Cameron or is animated.

War Room is a good movie,  I enjoyed it but it seems the writers have pretty much the same script with different characters,  the same problem. Learning to pray,  being a better husband,  the threat of infidelity,  some drama with a child or children. There is usually some conflict where someone has to make a hard choice to do the right thing. It can be predictable.

May I submit that we can do better.  While not making overt Christian movies,  I have enjoyed the theology that M Night Shyamalan has had in his movies. I have not seen all of them,  but Signs had a great message about God's Providence.  Lady in the Water had a lot to say about community. Unbreakable had a good message about having a purpose. There are solid Christian themes in the movies,  and sometimes I think we would be better off with more imagery and more metaphor and less of the same story line.

I hope I haven't stopped you from seeing War Room,  because it is worth seeing.  I just hope that Christian movies can make some progress towards more variety and depth.  I would like to see a Christian studio put some serious time and money into a Frank Peretti book, like This Present Darkness, and do it well and do it right. Just something to throw out there,  I would definately go see that one.

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