This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing a man's journey through life and the afterlife in "Heaven."
Heaven is another faith-based movie that fails to inspire. It's a well-intentioned movie that falls flat in scene after scene leaving us with moments that are designed to be moving or inspiring, but instead leave us feeling disappointed by the subpar acting and atrocious screenplay.
Based on the novel Heaven: The Adventure Begins, the movie follows Jonathan Stone (Angus Benfield), an EMT who alternates between life on Earth and his afterlife in Heaven. Or at least, this movie's version of it.
Jonathan starts out as a nonbeliever until he meets his girlfriend, Elizabeth, who is one and she does desperately try to convert him. Spoiler alert: He converts.
As they get older and their relationship progresses, Jonathan and Elizabeth (Michelle Fozounmayeh) get married, but not long after, they go through the tragedy of losing their unborn daughter. If that wasn't enough, Elizabeth finds out she's been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
This is where the movie goes polar opposite. While Elizabeth is strong in her faith, Jonathan wrestles with his internal struggle. We should have empathy for Jonathan, but he's such bland, one-dimensional character that anytime he goes through emotional turmoil or elation, he never conveys his feelings in a convincing fashion.
Nor is this movie's depiction of Heaven is all that convincing or impressive. Instead of wowing us with some visually pleasing sights, the filmmakers choose to downplay the most majestic of realms. Some scenes look a little too much out of something in The Wizard of Oz.
Plus, don't even get me started on some of the insane plot developments that are ridiculously predictable and shamelessly manipulative and the events leading up to the ending are so awful, they are worthy of being spoiled just to save audiences from spending their cash.
It was hell sitting through Heaven.
(Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and bloody images.)