Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating that I don’t know a hell of a lot about what it takes to make this plethora of movies I watch on what seems to be a daily basis.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of other things to do.  But what I do know is that one hundred and seventy five million dollars is an awful lot of money, and that’s what it cost to produce this lifeless, disastrous, trite, forced bit of sentimentality titled ‘Evan Almighty’.  I sure hope they gave 100 million of that Morgan Freeman if for no other reason than the man is seventy years old and he helped teach a generation of children how to read. 

I suppose ‘Evan Almighty’ is a sequel to the Jim Carey vehicle ‘Bruce Almighty’ and usually when you create a sequel to some Hollywood movie without the big star who is in the first one, they usually dump that crap Direct-To-Video.  I guess you can’t dump 175 million direct to video though.  In this sequel Steve Carell reprises his role from the first movie as Anchorman Evan Baxter who now is Congressman elect Evan Baxter grabbing his wife Joan (Lauren Graham) and their three kids, who all look like they’re related for real and heading to Washington to fulfill his campaign promise to ‘Change the World’.  When we see the family driving a Hummer and Evan picks out some 300 year old cherry wood, it’s becoming obvious that we’re going to have an environmental theme to our little film and it’s just a matter of time until Morgan Freeman shows up in this film as God and start mucking stuff up.

So in the last film God gives Bruce all his powers and we got to watch Jim Carey do that thing he does while we occasionally laughed.  In this one He gives Evan absolutely no powers but commands him to build an ark because there’s a flood coming.  Now Evan is a rookie congressman and would like to put his best foot forward, especially with the scurrilous Senator Long (John Goodman) taking him under his wing, but considering he’s building a huge arc, looks like Charleston Heston in ‘The Ten

Commandments’ and has pairs of animals following him everywhere he goes, Evan’s problems are only beginning.  His family soon abandons him, he gets suspended from congress and his life has completely fallen apart all while God is somewhere laughing at his ass.  It all works out in the end as Evan saves the day, the environment, his family and plenty of bad people have birds poop on them.  That’s high comedy right there.

So if some guy is building an arc that is roughly the size of the Astrodome, all by himself, and he is constantly followed by scores of animals where ever he goes, I’m going to be of the mind that something is definitely up.  And when the animals start helping him build this arc, even if I where an atheist, I’m going to take notice and see if I can secure myself a spot on that damn boat.  As opposed to every single character in this film who simply cracked unfunny jokes at the unfunny man building the unfunny boat.  With the exception of noting that actress Lauren Graham looks pretty good in a pair blue jeans there was almost nothing to like about ‘Evan Almighty’.  It was family friendly in the sense that there wasn’t a lot bad language or nudity or anything, but it wasn’t family friendly if your hope was for your family to be entertained.  How many times do the filmmakers think that a bird pooping on somebody is supposed to be funny?  Apparently 175 million bucks doesn’t buy you funny jokes.  Even sly clever attempts at humor fall flat such as Steve Carell driving past a movie marquee that’s showing ‘The 40-year old Virgin Mary’.  Yeah, that’s cracking me up – and I’m remarkably easy to make laugh. 

So if Steve Carell, who I thought was a pretty funny dude up until this point, Wanda Sykes who at least was funny in ‘Pootie Tang’ and Morgan Freeman who is a great actor at least so I know he can act funny, can’t make you laugh, then I guess director Tom Shadyac is to blame for this financially bloated disaster of a movie.  Do you know what I could do with 175 million dollars?  Do you know what I could do with $17.50?  Man I could really use $17.50 right about now.

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