Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Evan Almighty: Grade D

Evan Almighty (2007)

Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman. Director Tom Shadyac.

Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey was silly-funny and enjoyable. This is not quite a sequel or a remake, although Morgan Freeman is still God, this time without wit. Carell is a suburban congressman commanded to build an ark prior to a promised great flood. The premise is basically funny, and the involvement of the animals is cute, but the script must be aimed at 5 year old children, Christian and Jewish children who can recognize the Biblical story, because despite a few clever one-liners, this movie is devoid of imagination. And acting. Carell’s family is cringingly bad, as are his colleagues in congress. Even Wanda Sykes – how can you suppress her? But somehow they did. Carell does some good Carrey-esque physical acting but is basically boxed in the lifeless script. There were hints of more, as when Carell’s wife (Lauren Graham) is perplexed by her husband’s messianic turn, but the possibility of mental illness does not cross her mind. I only give this failure of a movie a passing grade because of a very faint, very sly political satire, that I may be reading in. President Bush has said that God talks to him, so the movie makes you wonder if God told Bush to build an ark in Virginia, would he do it? I wish they had played that theme out, which goes all the way back to Abraham and Isaac. The clues for the theme are slight but I thought I saw them. If so, it was a lost opportunity.

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