2007
Rated: G
Genre: Kids/Family Comedy Fantasy
Directed By: Tom Shadyac
Running Time: 1:30
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 1/06/07
Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Animals On Set Two By Two
Animal Roundup Game
Steve Carell Unscripted
The Ark-itects Of Noah's Ark
EVAN ALMIGHTY

 

Well, it's typical of Hollywood. You take probably the only entertaining aspect of the last Jim Carrey movie that was basically thinly veiled religious propaganda about the pressures of being God, and how much people depend on you, and you expand upon it until it stops becoming funny, and then pretty much just run it into the ground with religious propaganda that's about as subtle as a punch in the neck. Steve Carrell had a rough go of it in 2007, with two movies that were overblown and shrill pieces of malarkey, and hopefully 2008 will be a step up for the man. Until then, he plays Evan Baxter, the obligatory
antagonist from "Bruce Almighty" who is now a US Congressman. As he moves his family to Washington, and discovers his congress duties are interfering with activities with his needy wife and spoiled children, God comes knocking at his door forcing him to build him an arc. What happens if Evan refuses? Well, God pesters, and annoys, and the pretty much just frightens him at every turn with his insurmountable power. That's God for you. Do what he says or you die. But it's not that difficult, since Evan, who is very much disconnected with his family, manages to find his newfound calling as an excuse to spend time with his children and re-examine his role as a family man in the face of God. All the while, "Evan Almighty" pulls out all the stops for laughs and really never succeeds.

Even with Carrell pulling double time screaming, screeching, and gasping at every moment of God's horrific stalking, it still never manages to invoke neither a laugh nor a giggle. The primary reason for that fact beyond the bland script is the fact that God is simply a horrifying figure who forces Evan to listen to him, and forces him to do his bidding, rather than just allow his free will. He summons animals on the man, drives him nearly insane, and really never lets him gain his own lessons.  

But that's really beyond the point to this bloated mess. "Evan Almighty" can never focus enough to tell one story, instead it has about four or five different narratives that skip back and forth and is never coherent enough to tell the story we assume is going to be told. Evan Baxter is a typical schmuck who is called by a higher force for a higher purpose, and nothing more. This is a role that would more typically be reserved for someone like Ben Stiller, so it's not a surprise that Carrell often sticks out like a sore thumb and looks constantly bored. To ease the pain we're given a slew of big screen comedy vets like John Goodman who is the obligatory villain and evil US congressman, there's Jonah Hill who appears every so often just to provide a one liner or two, and the always misused Wanda Sykes who plays Evan's sidekick, also quipping at Evan's expense as his  transformation from Evan to Noah becomes a reality. As for Morgan Freeman, his character thankfully only shows up when it's convenient enough to remind us of the film's last shred of credibility. His role as God really never serves as much importance and comedic value to this film as it did the first, and the antics are incidentally enough just as listless.

But as expected, "Evan Almighty" is really just a two hour sermon about the meaning of the story of Noah's Ark, and an exploration into the bible's deeper meanings. Which wouldn't be so bad, if the film didn't pretend to be just another family comedy. There are constant lectures, constant references to different passages, and God even discusses the meaning of Noah's ark to Evan's wife in one long drawn out monologue that you can almost sense garnered a standing ovation at the different churches this played in. This "flood" meanwhile is really nothing more than a horrible accident at a local dam that causes the flood amidst the "non-believers" and we're never truly tipped off into what caused it in the first place. Was it God who predicted this accident that he could not prevent, or did he cause it to get people to believe in him? One or explanation or the other raises many confused eye brows and gaping plot holes, all the while Evan is written like a Dr. DoLittle wannabe with symptoms of his transformation ripped from "The Santa Clause," and once the huge disaster happens and everyone is still smiling after endless property has been destroyed and countless lives have
probably been ruined, "Evan Almighty" places itself on that grand pedestal that it's all okay, because hey, God willed it. God is never questioned, taken to task for his actions, nor looked down upon because he's God, and you just can't question his will, says the film. One can only shiver at the prospect of a third film where God pesters some poor sap in to having the next Jesus Christ. God, you terrorist.

Dear God, why has thou punished movie-goers with such sinful tripe? Be ye a sadistic bastard? Is this some sort of test for movie lovers, or do you insist on letting the devil fund Hollywood. Nonetheless, God, "Evan Almighty" is shit, and you're once again the creepy stalker forcing your followers to submit to your will. This is not the God I was raised to worship... no, this is EXACTLY the God I was raised to worship.

 

 

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