This afterlife fantasy is ambitious, otherworldly and gorgeous. But ultimately it's too trippy--and drippy--for all its visual finery and erudite musings. Director Ward's straightfaced approach and Ron Bass' lumbering screenplay depart significantly from the novel it's based on, but the basic hooks are the same: See dead Williams (in serious mode); get to know his guardian angel (Gooding); see soulmate Sciorra got to hell; see the darn dog come back to life.
Williams lacks the range for such arch material, though the whole convoluted scenario could have used more of Williams' usual funny business--or Harrison Ford. More of a metaphysical head scratcher than a hanky-wetting heartwrencher, Ward's expensive art film ($70 million) does have remarkable scenes and beautiful sights, but it becomes an infernal mix of Dante and Disney that leaves you in limbo.