A variation on the standard football movie plot, Facing the Giants takes place in a Christian high school, where coach Grant Taylor is trying to keep the school's football program alive. The team isn't winning, the players are apathetic, and some of the parents are trying to have Grant replaced. When we first see him go home to his wife, we learn that Grant's also having problems off the field, the film begins stacking the odds so high against Grant that it flirts with outright melodrama, his car won't start, his home is in a state of disrepair, he and Brooke can't conceive, money is running out, and most folks just plain don't like him.
Then, just when things seem like they can't get any worse, a stranger shows up in Grant's office and shares a Scripture verse, saying that the Lord sent him there. Suddenly, it's a whole new ballgame! Grant prays, gets inspired, and revamps his entire philosophy of coaching. His enthusiasm spreads to the whole team, and then the whole school, and suddenly, as Grant notes, it's "like a whole new team." a new kicker joins the team thanks to the prodding of his wheelchair-bound father, and, even though he can't play worth anything, the coaches have a good feeling about him, and let him play anyway.
Then, the film glosses over Grant's change of heart, we briefly see him slip into despair, then, after a short sequence of walking in the woods and reading his Bible, he's suddenly a whole different person, all in a matter of minutes. One might not be looking for deep psychological drama here, but this transformation just feels cheap and tawdry.
And an assistant coach twists Jesus' words about the wide and narrow gates to apply to kicking field goals. And despite writer/director Kendrick's insistence that he's "not a name-it-and-claim-it guy," that's just what happens in the movie: After Grant gets right with Jesus, everything goes his way. We won't give away the plot developments, but suffice it to say that every