June 29, 2007 Evan Almighty
Studio: Universal Pictures Rating: PG for mild rude humor and some peril.
What would you do if God appeared and asked you to perform a task? What if that job was something really out of the ordinary? That's the premise of the comedy "Evan Almighty."
With the star of "Bruce Almighty," Jim Carrey nowhere to be found, Steve Carell steps into the leading role of the sequel.
After winning a seat in the House of Representatives, Evan Baxter leaves his TV news anchor job in Buffalo, New York for Washington, D-C. But while Evan has big plans to "change the world" God has something else in mind. Morgan Freeman plays the Almighty once again and he wants Evan to build an ark.
Of course Evan thinks the guy who claims to be God is nuts, so he ignores his request. But Freeman's God is persistent and he really wants Evan to start working on his big boat. Eventually Evan gets the message and despite his misgivings construction begins.
If you go to this movie expecting some of the same kind of crude jokes that peppered the original, you will be disappointed. This time around director Tom Shadyac has infused his story with warmth and heart. And it really works.
Evan starts off as a kind of buffoon. But once he realizes the enormity of what God wants him to do he really focuses, despite the difficulties he finds himself in. Freeman is very good as God, while Lauren Graham provides a nice touch of the real world as Evan's wife. And John Goodman's corrupt congressman is appropriately slimy as the movie's bad guy.
This is the most expensive comedy ever made, costing 175 million dollars. That money went to building the ark, bringing in all kinds of animals and really big finish that gets more than a little wet. But where the film succeeds best is in its quiet moments where Evan learns that you can change the world, through one act of random kindness at a time.
On my rating scale, "Evan Almighty" earns a Triple.
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