Evan Almighty

Plot: Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) returns in this sequel to “Bruce Almighty.” Evan is now a Senator, taking his wife and kids to Virginia. God (Morgan Freeman) makes a visit and expects Evan to build an ark. Animals start to gather and Evan begins to resemble Noah, all while he tries to keep his sanity and new political friends like Congressman Long (John Goodman).

Who’s it for: There is similar humor as the first, with a hint of the plot going toward family values and protecting the environment.

Expectations: Carell is amazing in “The Office,” which is currently my favorite show. Although this plot isn’t my cup of tea and I wasn’t a fan of “Bruce Almighty,” I assumed it would be good for a few laughs.

SCORECARD

Actors:

Steve Carell as Evan Baxter: Carell is likable. And that’s just barely enough. Otherwise we’re just left with odd moments of physical humor that kind of work.
Grade: 6

Lauren Graham as Joan Baxter: It seems the family doesn’t understand that the job of a newly appointed Senator would be demanding. Joan and the kids complain that Evan’s never available. And from her vantage point isn’t insanity the only answer to Evan’s behavior?
Grade: 3

Morgan Freeman as God: He’s got the voice, and there isn’t another actor I would rather watch pretend to be the almighty power of the universe in a supporting role. If only he didn’t use this power to help a family make time to go on a hike (or maybe I missed the point of the film).
Grade: 6

Talking: Actors like Wanda Sykes keep giving one-liners, but it’s incredibly staged. In fact, there’s barely a worthy line of dialogue in this film. They should have given Jonah Hill (“Knocked Up,” “Superbad”) much more to do and everyone else much less.
Grade: 2

Sights and sounds: “Evan Almighty” is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever filmed and I don’t understand why. It doesn’t look good. It’s obvious the snakes and spiders aren’t really on Evan’s face and the big climatic flood at the end isn’t cutting edge.
Grade: 2

PLOT SPOILERS

Best Scene: The film end with everyone dancing to C&C Music Factory, and watching Morgan Freeman crack up at Steve Carell. It seems sad, though, that the best scene has nothing to do with the point of the film.

Ending: It’s so over the top that Evan would be revered as a saint for the rest of time. And it seems all the damage and all the drama was to stop a small housing development. But at least we got to see an ark plow through downtown D.C.

Random thoughts: I have too many random thoughts and questions. Here’s a better idea, completely turn off your brain and then watch this film.

Rewatchability: No. I assume this is one of those films that would make me irate if I sat through it again. It would be too risky for those sitting next to me.

OVERALL

“Evan Almighty” is an insane situation. You know that going in. I didn’t have a problem with Evan talking to God, building an ark, Evan looking like Noah or even the animals showing up. But the reaction of the others (co-workers and family) is what’s so befuddling about this film. You have to have the characters notice the absurdity of the situation. Congressman Long barely cares that Evan has close to a hundred birds in his office. Bears and lions are constantly walking around with the crowd barely noticing. This movie isn’t about logic, faith or family, and doesn’t have many laughs except when baboons carry things — that’s always funny. It’s just mindless summer popcorn.

Overall Grade: 4

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