Reviewing a movie is a bit difficult for me. Usually movie reviews take into account past films of the same genre as well as more artistic features. For example, I am not a very good judge of how well people act. In terms of acting and visual cues this was a bit easier considering the movie I was reviewing. The acting was just terrible in Fireproof, it seemed there was no dynamic change of each character even though it was supposed to be a story about how God changed people. The male lead was cold and above all had an anger/frustration problem and it did not seem to change throughout the film. The female lead did not exhibit much of a personality, she seemed like a victim of the situation and did have a prominent role which bothered me the most. I will elaborate more on this later. In terms of visual cues there was some elements of good directing. For example, during arguments the male was always on the right and the female on the left. Right indicates power and authority whereas left indicates inferiority. Basic elements were correctly done, but there did not seem anything above the amateur. A good example, when the male lead is talking about how ungrateful his wife was being even though he was giving her all these nice things and treating her better. His dad was listening to him while walking around a graveyard and it was obvious what he was going to talk about. Once he started his speech he walked till he was a cross and the camera panned over to the cross when he was referring to Jesus. This sort of moment is shameless, it was obvious from the beginning what was going to happen and unfortunately many scenes are similar. It is obvious what was going to happen, there was not taste in the metaphor.
Art aside, the biggest problem I had with the movie was its content. It paints a worrisome picture of women’s independence and a simplistic picture of race and god for the most part. Blacks in the film fulfill stereotypes that they are troublemakers complete with superficial slang. The female lead in the film is utterly helpless and unfaithful. Above all female behavior in the film is dictated by male actions. Men act, while women are only able to respond. This aspect of the film is redeemed a bit when it is revealed that the male lead’s mother was responsible for saving the marriage. However, it just didnt do it for me. That one aspect aside the movie is entirely dictated by male actions. Furthermore, God in the film is looked as a source of eternal happiness. There are many aspects to God and even though it is a film it is a crime to pain such a superficial picture of God.