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Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty

Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG
Directed by:
Tom Shadyac
Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Molly Shannon, Jonah Hill
Released by: Universal Pictures

In Short: Few jokes and plenty of sappy cornpone dialogue make Evan Almighty a movie only the particularly pious could love.

Heaven Help Us
Lord, Please Protect the World from Cornball Comedy
by Jenny Peters

Remember Bruce Almighty, the film where Jim Carrey meets up with God and takes over his job for a while? It was a pretty funny film, created by the same team (director Tom Shadyac and writer Steve Oedekirk) responsible for Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, and Patch Adams. Their latest film is “Evan Almighty,” and unfortunately, this time out, the laughs come few and far between.

The premise seems clever enough, with Steve Carell reprising his small (and very funny) role in Bruce Almighty as Evan Baxter. He’s a television news reporter who wins a seat in Congress as Evan Almighty begins, thus moving his wife (Lauren Graham, who is always a pleasure to watch) and three sons to a suburb of Washington, D.C. As he begins his term, God (again played by Morgan Freeman) comes to him in a vision, and tells him to build an ark, as a flood is coming.

Steve Carell displays his animal magnetism in Evan Almighty
Evan Almighty

The problems with the film quickly occur as the story develops, for cornball sentimentality takes precedence over comedy at every turn. Yes, there are a few funny moments, ones that showcase Carell’s unique physical and verbal talents, and Wanda Sykes steals every scene she is in as his capable assistant with a plethora of snappy remarks. Overall, however, this slog toward the inevitable flood is a sappy, predictable look at an overworked man who finds God, changes his life, and thus gets closer to his family.

Morgan Freeman reprises his role as God
Wanda Sykes in Evan Almighty

It’s a plot that we have seen so many times before that it’s deadly boring to watch, for there isn’t a moment in the mercifully short movie that surprises us for even a second. Predictable, not very funny, and sentimental to a fault, Evan Almighty is a film that fails to deliver, and is more suited to airing on the Lifetime channel than the big screen.


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