Does anyone remember the movie Bruce Almighty, starring Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston from a couple of years back? If you do, then you might remember the news anchor Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) that Jim got even with during the course of the first film. If you dont, its not really a hassle, so don’t worry about it. Anyway, thanks to neither Jim nor Jennifer wanting to reprise their roles, we have a spinoff follow-up in the form of Evan Almighty now hitting our screens.
Much like Bruce Almightys storyline, Evan Almighty revolves around the life of newly turned congressman, Evan Baxter, who has a rather unexpected meeting with God (luckily Morgan Freeman agreed to come back at least) and is then asked to do something that has only been asked once before – to build an ark.
Of course, life is not going to be all peaches and roses for Evan as his professional life becomes turned upside down with the arrival of the animals and even the visage God intends him to wear. From one hilarious mishap to the next, Evan must learn to accept the task bestowed upon him and make it a reality before it is too late, even at the cost of his career, family, pride and even dignity.
Director Tom Shadyack insisted on pushing through a strong environmental and religious message with this movie and manages to achieve this without being in your face and produced a movie that is both thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing at the same time.
Steve Carell puts in an excellent performance as the perfectionist Baxter, and really, his performances are going strength to strength now that he is getting more lead performances in major movie releases. He is deadpan funny, he pulls off the physical comedy seamlessly and he has the perfect face for comedy.
Other than him and apart from Morgan Freeman as God, the rest of the cast don’t really stand out as being particularly good, though John Goodman (for some reason I keep calling him Tom Arnold, don’t know why. Thanks Iradney for straightening me out :D) does put in a good performance as the bad guy in the movie.
Visually, Evan Almighty makes use of some impressive CGI sequences. Rhythm and Hues and Industrial Light and Magic did some amazing work, the former handling most of the animal CGI sequences while the latter concentrated on the flooding scene.
But it was not all just CGI. Over 177 species of animals were used in the film, a major headache for any director. Also the ark was constructed following the biblical measurements given (450 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 51 feet high – I don’t feel like converting this info to metric units, so your homework for today), a massive undertaking just in itself.
To sum it all up: An expensive movie to make, a fairly standard script it must be said, but an enjoyable viewing experience nevertheless. I was thoroughly entertained, I laughed enough times throughout and the message that the movie was pushing came through subtlety enough that I didnt mind taking it all in.
So a pleasant comedy which everyone can enjoy, and perhaps take just that little out from it.
Oh yes, almost forgot. The soundtrack to the movie was okay. Nothing too special.
Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_almighty