Facing the Giants is a film I saw a very long time ago before the blog days. Well, now I have rewatched it and the movie holds up well. It’s a solid drama story with the main characters being put through a lot of trials in their faith but ultimately they are able to overcome them and get even closer to God by the end. While you can likely see all of the story beats coming in advance, this isn’t really meant to be a film of twists and turns so the execution is what counts here.
The movie starts by introducing us to Grant who has been having a rough time. His Football team has been losing so many games for years and years. Just having a mediocre season is the best that they have been able to pull off. This is causing Grant to lose a lot of standing with the fathers whose kids are losing their time to shine here. Meanwhile Grant isn’t doing much better at home. He and his wife Brooke have been unable to have a kid for a while, their car is broken down, and the house is in poor condition. It seems like everything around Grant is falling apart and even his faith is now strained. Is there any chance at a comeback?
There is also a sub plot where a kid named David is interested in joining the Football team but he’s worried that he will fail. He figures that if he doesn’t join then he can’t possibly lose but his grandfather pushes him to try anyway. David ultimately makes the team but now he’s scared about actually kicking. Can he manage to go past his fears? There isn’t a ton of time for the subplot but ultimately David steps up eventually. It’s a tricky situation for Grant though because the team does already have a great kicker. Considering how bad the team is, he was probably hoping that David would be playing a different position. He makes sure to give David his chance to shine though which is good.
The movie’s got good pacing and goes quickly. My only issue/weakness for the movie is I think the drama aspects can be overplayed a bit. Grant’s various sad moments just don’t land for me in that I think he goes overboard. If the movie dialed down the sad scenes a little bit I think that would be for the best. The deck is certainly stacked against Grant but he just keeps on doing the right things and it pays off.
The turning point for the team is when they decide to finally start playing for God instead of focusing on wins. This way they’ll stay happy whether they win or lose. The team certainly has a lot more motivation after that as they start dominating on the field. Ultimately to put that to the test I would have kept the ending without the plot twist near the end. It would still have been a happy ending with how far they made it in the season without it feeling a bit cheesy. The very final game just seemed like a stretch.
Low key, the team’s defense was actually really good though. So in the first game we see in the movie, Grant’s team fumbled 4 times and threw 3 interceptions. So if you’re counting that’s 7 turnovers yet the final score had them losing 21-7. So their defense was absolutely rock solid in stopping them each time because otherwise the score should have been far greater. I like to think it shows that the team did have some talent, they just couldn’t turn that into points on the other side. So by the end of the film both sides were finally playing well and it made a difference.
Meanwhile Brooke had to deal with her share of trials as well since she really wanted a kid too. She goes through a lot of tests and is always hoping that things will be different. While I don’t think taking the individual tests to see who is at fault was a good idea (Puts unnecessary guilt on whoever is not performing) you can see how desperate she was. Ultimately things turn out well for her.
So the movie definitely has a happy ending for everyone. Someone even gets a new vehicle and along the way one kid’s relationship with his father is mended. Each character certainly has a lot to be thankful for. We get a lot of fun Football scenes as well so this was definitely a quality title. The title itself was also clever as it means a few different things as you watch the movie. A versatile title is nice because it shows that they really thought hard before selecting it. Sometimes a title just feels thrown on without having a whole lot to do with the movie.
Overall, Facing the Giants is a solid movie. It’s well balanced with the writing and trials that the characters have to go through. Grant may overdo it a bit with his reactions but you know that things will turn out fine in the end. Ultimately he made the right choice in having the kids learn to accept the result whether it be victory or defeat. They would place everything in God’s hands and what will be, will be. There won’t always be a happy ending but you just have to stand strong through to the end.