When Don Piper was driving home from a church conference one rainy day, he was blindsided by a rogue eighteen-wheeler semi-truck, which crushed his car and killed him on the spot. When he passed into the afterlife, he entered Heaven and saw people who has gone before him. However, due to the prayers of a man at the crash site, Don was pulled back to earth, full of injuries. For months, he was confined to a hospital bed and his wife and children went through many trials due to Don’s uncertain medical condition. However, through it all, God showed Himself to be faithful.
Production Quality (3 points)
90 Minutes in Heaven is one of those mainstream films about Christian concepts that puts many Christian films to shame due to its commitment to a high production quality. Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all what it should be. The soundtrack is very creative and engaging. Sets, locations, and props are highly authentic and realistic, especially for the time frame. Finally, the editing is relatively good considering the large amount of content that is taken on in this film. In the end, this is the standard production quality we should see with each movie that comes out.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Though this is a very interesting and realistic true story that definitely warrants a movie of its own, it’s hard to think that it was handled very well in this particular film. For one, unnecessary and heavy-handed narration forces the plot along and explains things that should be allowed to develop on their own. The narration stunts character development and subverts the use of effective flashbacks. There are plenty of characters in this film, but it’s hard to get to know any of them very well due to the constant voiceover. Besides this, the presentation of this otherwise good story is very slow and boring, perhaps in attempts to be overly dramatic. Nonetheless, it doesn’t come off right as there are too many stop and start scenes and dead sequences before all of the important information is shoved at the end. In the end, this movie carries an important message that is not handled very well.
Acting Quality (2 points)
This movie clearly has a professional cast with plenty of recognizable names, yet sometimes the cast members appear to be overconfident in their abilities. There’s no question that they have talent, but they underwhelm in their performances, like they are just phoning it in. But for the most part, this section does reflect a professional effort.
Movies like this one, that are made by ‘Hollywood’ for Christians are usually a mixed bag. Professional production and casting is rarely shirked on, but there always seem to be those lingering problems that drag it down. The story behind 90 Minutes in Heaven is worthy of the Hall of Fame, yet this film is not due to a handful of small issues that hold it back. Yet regardless, many will find this film to be enjoyable and it’s certainly worth your time.
Final Rating: 6 out of 10 points