90 Minutes in Heaven
(M) Hayden Christensen, Kate Bosworth
Ninety minutes into this snail-pace drama, we still haven’t reached heaven. For most of the bland movie version of a real American pastor’s experience of coming back from the dead, his best-selling claim of visiting heaven hardly is mentioned. Instead, the title’s promise of an hour and a half in Jesus’ Father’s house (John 14:2) proves to be a catchy but unsatisfying hook.
Rather than heaven, we’re largely stuck in hospital with Hayden Christensen (Star Wars prequels). He plays Don Piper with overblown sincerity, as he painfully recovers from an horrific car accident that had him pronounced dead at the scene. Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns) is his devoted and underappreciated wife Eva, and it’s easy to feel her frustration as 90 Minutes in Heaven lingers without purpose on Don’s self-absorbed healing.
When Don finally tells Eva about heaven, whether we believe his underwhelming account doesn’t really matter. Why? Because we’re bored, thanks to this proudly Christian film taking so much time to do so little with its commendable content.
Bible verses are quoted, the power of prayer is proclaimed, and church communities are praised. That’s terrific. What isn’t is how such spiritual resources become uninspiring wallpaper, and how the human need to believe is emphasised over our needs being met in Jesus.