I just watched Real Steel with my son, and we absolutely loved it. As the credits started to roll, I wondered – why can’t Christians make a film like this? Is it because there’s no preachy message that we’re unable to do this sort of thing? After all, it’s only a movie about a washed up boxer/father who desperately needs to really learn to care about something or someone, or he’ll continue his downward spiral until he dies alone. He’s finally saved through the sheer stubbornness, determination, and resolute love of his son – a love that refuses to die.
Essentially, it’s a fun movie with heart.
As I was watching this movie I kept thinking – why can’t Christians make fun movies with heart? We seem to want so badly to put The Message into everything we do, but the really funny part is that we really don’t have to do this! If we could ever learn to just relax and tell good stories well, then we would actually give the opportunity to God to do what He does best: speak through the stories we tell despite us. Even if we never explicitly mention God or the Gospel – God can still speak.
Yes, God could actually do that if we gave him the chance.
But back to tonight’s movie: is Real Steel the Best Movie Ever Made©?
Is Real Steel formulaic?
Sure. Even the ending, which tries to be surprising, doesn’t shock us.
But, even with all of that being true – is Real Steel an entertaining and fun movie with heart? Absolutely. Without a doubt. Undeniably.
Christians, while we’re also planning to produce our Sherwood Pictures, Rich Christiano, Rick Santorum Movies Meant To Evangelize That Really Only Reach The Churched©… let’s make well-told movies with heart, too! Let’s break down the walls of the viewers by creating characters the audience actually cares about! Let’s tell rousing stories that make the audience cheer! Let’s get some giant robots who are fighting for something bigger! Or maybe even aliens, or secret agents, or dinosaurs!
Let’s tell the stories well, and have fun while we do it, and then… let’s see what God might do.
Because – at the end of the day – they’re just movies, for heaven’s sake! As the song says – here today and gone tomorrow. Why do we forget that?