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Steve Carell reprises his role as Evan Baxter in this sequel to Bruce
Evan Almighty jumps right into the mix of things with little build up. Right off the bat we find out that news anchor Evan Baxter has segued his career into one of political aspirations. Soon after being elected to the United States Congress under a slogan painting him as a politician out to change the world, God (Morgan Freeman) commissions Baxter to build an ark in the midst of one of the worst droughts in the history of the area.
In a predictable move the area townspeople antagonize Baxter as he begins the construction of the ark. Baxter's reputation is further soiled by the fact that his political career is being looked as a joke when he starts wearing sack cloth on a regular basis, and animals of all kinds are following him around in pairs. Baxter's boss Congressman Long, who once supported him quickly, becomes the antagonist as the people begin to turn against Baxter.
Evan Almighty is predictable on every turn, and has enough humor to satisfy. The animals do their part to provide a fair share of fecal humor. Morgan Freeman offers up plenty of wisdom in the role of God. Steve Carell does an exceptionally adequate job of delivering very humorous dialogue, which in his style is sure to be adlibbed in great part. The sheer amounts of animals in this film are overwhelming and a treat to behold. Overall the storyline and humor feel very cliché. Evan Almighty was a mild success, but just does not offer anything special apart from a few good laughs. Parents with children will get their money's worth out of this, but for everyone else it is a worthwhile rental.
Steve Carell returns as prissy newsreader Evan Baxter, a little less mean-spirited this time around unlike his previous small turn in 'Bruce Almighty'. Of course, Carell was up and coming then but as his box-office success shows, the character responsible for arguably the only really funny scene in 'Bruce Almighty' deserves a film of his own. Shadayac and co. have approached it with a novel (if potentially expensive idea) to make God (Morgan Freeman) appear this time to instruct Baxter to build an Arc and, as Noah did before him, load it full of animals to protect them from an for an oncoming flood. It's an idea that's very entertaining, even if the jokes are less easy than the previous premise. Evan's transformation of appearance and being pursued by eager animals are the main areas of humour here, which means at times the film is thin on the ground. Sentiment comes in the form of Evan's neglect of his family; the audience will know exactly where this will be going, but fortunately the sentiment isn't as annoying as you might believe. It's also very much a family affair, the humour and the language very much for family audiences. Disappointingly, Shadayac, responsible for bringing out two of Jim Carrey's worst performances (namely 'Liar Liar' and 'Bruce Almighty') by letting Carrey overdo it by seemingly telling him to do the whole thing as an impression of William Shatner, mistakenly this time opts to take Carell down a notch. Carell's trademark hysteria and bizarre reactions are in short supply and we have an all together calmer 'Little Miss Sunshine'-esquire turn, which also means the film loses some of it's potential in this instance. Wanda Sykes and co. are merely stock characters needing better dialogue. Does this make it a bad film? Not at all. It's religious tie-ins (if rushed) are quite smart and it's very well directed visually with a great use of music and keeping a steady pace. It is what's on the label, but with a jaw-droppingly impressive final act which will really take you by surprise and could be up there as one of the sights of the summer! You could do a lot worse than enjoy 100 minutes of easy-going fun but if it's a laugh-out-loud roller-coaster you want, you will leave short-changed!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I haven't seen Bruce Almighty. Unlike just about everyone else who went
to this movie I had nothing to compare it with and no expectations
based on the earlier movie.
I have a feeling what people were expecting was a frenetic, high strung, giddy, laugh a nano-second experience. If that is what you are expecting, then you will be disappointed.
What I was expecting was based on what I saw in the trailers for this movie - ordinary guy is visited by God, God tells him to build an Ark, the guy's beard and hair grow and animals show up. I was also expecting some funny stuff.
The film delivers on story, on character, on relationships. It has an element of menace and anticipation. It has funny stuff and it has heart. It is also a movie you can take your kids to, which is kind of rare these days.
I really enjoyed this movie. Set aside your Jim Carrey expectations and you may enjoy it, too.
Did some one say comedy... this cannot be categorized as a pure comedy
and it doesn't come under the cadre of Bruce Almighty and Steve Carell
though he tried hard is not match to Jim Carrey. This is not a pure
comedy and has its own emotional scenes to counter your comic feelings
while watching the movie..... Buy your popcorn and drink before you go
to the movie and don't expect to have a pain in your gut because you
don't do any big laughing exercise in it. Still it has kept with its
pace, being a smaller movie of less than 100 minutes adds to its
It has a good script and quite a happy feeling at the end of the movie... It is good to see these kind of movies as a family outing and feel good when you see your family members smiling after the movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you go expecting to see a gut-busting laugh-out-loud comedy like the
usual Jim Carrey-Tom Shayac production, you'll be disappointed. (But it
also doesn't have the bathroom humor -- a relief to me.)
But INSTEAD I suggest you think back to those great religious epics of the 1950s -- but with many light-hearted moments (instead of the heavy melodrama those movies had). I think then you can just sit back and enjoy this movie.
Steve Carell is a master of subtle comedy -- the comedy of character nuances. He's not a big broad over-the-top comedy actor like Jim Carrey. So it's not really fair to compare him to Jim and the Ace Ventura movies.
It must be a lot of pressure on him: "You're the star of the most expensive comedy ever made! Talk out of your butt or something!"
They have him doing some slapstick while clumsily building the ark, but it isn't really funny. The film is stocked with expert comedy actors, but only Wanda Sykes got any laughs out of the audience. (But then, it's said Wanda Sykes can get laughs just reading a phone book.)
Sadly John Goodman is wasted as "the heavy". Over the closing credits, you see a moment of him comic dancing and you remember how funny this guy is.)
I was amazed to find tears rolling down my cheeks about halfway through -- when God disguised as a waiter has a little talk with Evan's wife (who thinks her husband has lost his mind). It happened a few more times till the end.
So if you turn off your laugh-o-meter expectations and just look at it as a sweet story of faith with a few smiles and a lot of delightful animals and some great disaster effects, you'll enjoy it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'A comedy of biblical proportions!' Those masters of hyperbole, the
movie-tag-line-writers, at it again; the sequel to 2003's Bruce
Almighty, raises barely a chuckle. The only thing which raises my
interest in this movie above total indifference is its dogmatic
Christian undertones. Sorry, make that overtones.
Steve Carrel, ignoring Jim Carrey's good sense to decline a role reprisal, plays Evan Baxter, the smug news anchor from Bruce Almighty, who has just been elected to congress. With a new life in Virginia and the stress of moving into a house the size of the Acropolis, the pressure of all the change takes its toll on his family. His wife (Lauren Graham), evidently airlifted in from Stepford, and three sons (Jimmy Bennett, Graham Phillips and Johnny Simmons), who do a stilted job of looking sad to a piano accompaniment, pray for the family to become closer, and almost out of guilt, so does Evan.
In what must be the greatest shock of all time, God (Morgan Freeman) actually shows up, but does the whole pesky 'working in mysterious ways' thing all over the place by telling Evan to build a Noah-esquire ark in preparation for a great flood instead of just giving him a pool table or and X-box or something. And in true mischievous deity style, he also forces Evan to grow a beard, long hair and wear worn and tatty robes. Now, back in the day I'm sure razors were hard to come by so the beard was somewhat of an inevitability for Noah, but I'm almost certain it had nothing to do with spirituality. Same with the robes; a massive construction job is surely made all the more difficult by such impractical clothing. Couldn't God have conjured up a pair of steel toed boots and a hard hat for the poor guy? Apparently not.
To paraphrase Bill Hicks, I find the idea that God is messing with us somewhat unsettling, and so does Evan who fights him every step of the way. And who wouldn't? God essentially gets him fired, drives away his loved ones, makes him a laughing stock and at one point actually threatens him. Of course God turns out to be right, and the rational, hard working family man who was getting on fine by himself is forced to eat a large slice of bittersweet humble pie. It's almost as if to be left alone by God, Evan had to tolerate and humour him. What kind of message is that?
Evan Almighty does have a highly commendable environmental slant, with the underlying theme being that the Federal Government is blind to the damage being done to the world around us. It is also the first film ever to offset its carbon emissions and this should surely be considered a landmark achievement by a Hollywood studio. Were it not for the trite, condescending banner of American Christianity flying high above it, Evan Almighty could have been an inoffensive family movie, with a praiseworthy environmental record. But with its confused religious dogma and relentless 'blind faith' message, it ranks as one of the most repugnant movies of all time.
One hundred and seventy five million dollars is a hell of a lot of
money to spend on even the biggest summer blockbuster. Not even Michael
Bay had a budget that big for Transformers, so exactly how Universal
Pictures spent that much cash making Evan Almighty is a mystery. They
certainly didn't spend it on the script for one thing as the film is
not so much a classic comedy as it is Christian flag waving and bar one
or two quiet chuckles, you're most likely to spend the duration
wondering where the budget went or why Steve Carrell felt the need to
slum it in a decidedly average movie at the exact moment when his star
profile has begun to rise.
A sequel to the Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty, this film sees former supporting character Evan Baxter (Carrell) moving up the ladder into the main player slot. The story opens with him leaving the news desk to become a public official and moving to Washington with his wife and three generic sons (slightly weird primary school moppet, spirited middle schooler and sulky teenager). Evan's bid to change the world through politics however gets a spanner in the works when God (Morgan Freeman) appears and asks him to build an Ark.
In other words, it's an updating of the old Genesis story, with Evan fighting off cynicism and naysayers to build the immense boat. Unfortunately, while the premise is reasonably promising, it sadly does not provide many laughs. There's a bit of fun to be had in the early going where Evan's straight-laced MP tries to juggle the demands of public service with the unwelcome packs of animals that follow him around and a beard that resists all attempts to shave it, but as soon as he accepts his divine mission, the film takes a nosedive.
From this point on, it turns into a message movie. Evan begins preaching with alarming regularity and Morgan Freeman keeps turning up to offer kind wisdom, while gently prodding his chosen in the right direction. Without Evan's resistance though, the only trace of comedy left comes in the form of a few rubbish animal-feces jokes and John Michael Higgin's role as Evan's exasperated right-hand man. Higgins may show the same rich comic potential that he did previously in Arrested Development, but his enthusiasm cannot save the sinking vessel, especially seeing as Carrell has all but placed his formidable improv skills on the back-burner.
In some respects, it's slightly similar to the Passion of the Christ, but unlike Mel Gibson's movie which encouraged everyone to believe in God through blood letting and guilt tripping, Evan Almighty tries a more gentle approach. The movie simply tells us that we should have faith in God, because He has faith in us. Unfortunately, this movie is just as likely to make you laugh as the Passion is. Carrell is on autopilot, the jokes don't exist and Wanda Sykes makes a bid to become the most annoying person on the planet. It might be sweet, but somebody just tossed $175 000 000 overboard.
With a cast of hugely talented comedic actors like Steve Carell, Lauren Graham, John Goodman and Wanda Sykes, I was expecting a laugh out loud comedy. Sadly, Shadyac's 'Evan Almighty' only provides a few such moments. There just isn't enough comedy and at times it's a little too dramatic. Throughout the films, there are only but a very few dialogues that are funny as a result of which actors like Sykes and Graham don't have enough comedy to work with. Carell reprises his role from the prequel 'Bruce Almighty' but this time he's a little more of a nicer guy. Overall, Carell does a good job but he's more in the 'Little Miss Sunshine' mode which brings 'Evan Almighty' down a notch because that kind of character doesn't fully work for this kind of film and it is Shadyac to be blamed for not making something better of something decent. Yet, Carell's the only one who provides comic relief even though it's with limited quantity. His interaction with the animals are awesome to watch. Morgan Freeman is more cheerful and more annoying in this one. Lauren Graham plays the typical housewife and mother well and her reaction to Carell's transformation is excellent. In spite of all it's flaws, it is the last half hour that lifts the film. It builds up the drama and suspense very well and sort of has an adventurous feel. This entire sequence is very well executed. The soundtrack is well used and the songs are nice too. Thus, despite its shortcomings, it's still entertaining, but don't expect a laugh riot.
Although I enjoy Steve Carrell's work, Evan the Almighty, like so many
other overdone films turned out to be a lot worse than I hoped it would
This turned out to be a cheesy family movie, the kind that employ famous comedian to improve their image, but ultimately fail to deliver.
The usual Carell's dorky humour is almost absent from the movie and though he did make me chuckle a few times, there was nothing hilarious about him in Evan the Almighty.
His 3 kids, although were probably somehow important for a biblical character, were really quite useless in the movie and terrible actors. Even his wife, was somewhat of a third leg for such a simple storyline.
Spending so much money on making a comedy was a huge mistake. Although, Carell's career might profit from this movie, there's no real reason to go see it.
If only there was a little less of his family, a little more of Carell, Molly Shannon and maybe some other SNL cast, it could have actually been a lot more entertaining.
4/10 for a few chuckles here and there.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a flick doomed from its conception. The very idea of it was
lame - take a minor character from a mediocre PG-13 film, and make a
complete non-sequel while changing its tone to a PG-rated family movie.
I wasn't the least bit interested. Then came the trailer. Not only did
it only confirm that the film would be unfunny and generic, but it also
managed to give away the ENTIRE movie; and I'm not exaggerating - every
moment, every plot point, every joke is told in the trailer. It's like
a 3-minute Cliff's Notes version of the flick. So obviously I wasn't
gonna pay to see it, but once it hit DVD, I thought sure, I'll watch it
for free. Maybe Steve Carell can save it.
I'm still baffled as to why he signed on for this. He must have owed someone a favor. The jokes were all so flat and obvious, and the director obviously asked him to go for very broad comedy style like the original Bruce Almighty's Jim Carrey. But it's just not funny. The studio obviously tried to cash in on the success of 40-Year-Old Virgin, complete with several of Carell's past co-stars, a reference to the flick on a theater marquee, and another musical closing credits sequence. But even the talented Carrell can't save this. His co-stars don't fare much better, with people like Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, and Ed Helms just wasted. Wanda Sykes isn't wasted, she's just a waste in anything she does, and her horrible one-liners and reactions just make you wish people would stop giving her work.
The story itself is just predictable and lazy. It pounds you over the head with obvious foreshadowing, like Evan's disregard for the environment (drives a gas-guzzling Humvee, opts to use wood from endangered trees for his house, hates animals,...), and by the end it's just over-the-top preachy on both faith and the environment.
Why the movie was made at all is puzzling enough, but I really don't understand how it reportedly became the most expensive comedy ever. The only real effects work is the presence of all the animals, and the integration of those into the scenes is some of the worst and most obvious blue/green-screen work I've ever seen. Maybe the rental of the live animals on set cost a fortune. Who knows. But whatever it was that cost them so much, it didn't translate to quality, that's for sure. But hey, it wasn't the worst film of the year by far. There's still plenty of worse duds like Norbit and Death Proof.
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