In the wake of God’s Not Dead and Heaven Is For Real, everyone’s trying to get those sweet faith-based movie dollars. This time it’s not a Jewish son of Communists movie producer who helped get organized prayer outlawed in public schools, but Family Christian Stores, a retail chain that’s getting into the movie game with a planned two movies a year. Starting with this one, 90 Minutes In Heaven. (I hear that was the working title for Magic Mike XXL).
According to the press release, the twist this time around is, 100 percent of the profits will go to charities.
Based on the New York Times bestseller, 90 Minutes In Heaven, from Astronaut Farmer director Michael Polish, stars Hayden Christensen as Baptist minister Don Piper, who gets in a car wreck on the way home from a minister’s conference, dies, goes to heaven, and gets sent back down to Earth to spread the word about Jesus’s gnarly snowboard tricks and tasty guitar licks. Only a select few get to experience heaven and return. “Sky walkers,” I believe they’re called.
It’s a little hard to tell what the conflict is from the trailer. “Dangit, Pete! Why won’t people listen when I tell ’em how awesome heaven is?” So far as I can tell, Don Piper’s family and congregation have to pray extra hard to keep him from rushing back to heaven to shred space mountains with JC. But they seem more than up to the task. So many candles.
The big question is whether the target audience will see Hayden Christensen’s silly mustache and hear his ridiculous voice and think they’re being made fun of. I’m on the fence myself.
90 Minutes In Heaven opens Sept. 11.