HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (Randall Wallace). 99 minutes. Now playing. For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: N
This alarmingly cynical attempt to fleece Christian audiences out of their money is a terrible film in every way. From the script and performances to the direction and cinematography, it’s a rare example of a film that gets nothing right.
No one involved seems to be taking seriously this “true story” of a Wesleyan pastor (Greg Kinnear) dealing with his son’s post-appendicitis tale of seeing heaven. Randall Wallace, who wrote Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, can’t find any way to make the theological conversations between these small-town Nebraskans interesting, so he overcompensates by giving his characters horrendously hokey dialogue. Then everyone, including Thomas Haden Church as the requisite best friend, acts just hard enough not to get fired.
Worst of all, the film doesn’t feel like it’s made by people who believe in its message. The alarming amount of product placement (especially for Sony’s upcoming Spider-man sequel) suggests it’s a studio cash grab.