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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.72%
Worth A Look: 25.86%
Pretty Bad: 15.52%
Total Crap: 17.24%

7 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Evan Almighty
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by William Goss

"God Must Have Spent A Little More Dime On You"
3 stars

The last we saw of newsman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), he was being unwittingly tongue-tied by vengeful colleague Bruce (Jim Carrey) while on camera. However, since the “we” in that sentence contributed nearly $250 million towards Bruce’s shenanigans, there just had to be a sequel, and since Carrey simply couldn’t be summoned back for whatever rea$on$, there instead had to be Evan in the spotlight for costly spin-off 'Evan Almighty.'

Somehow remaining behind the news desk throughout his entire campaign, Evan soon signs off and relocates his family to Washington D.C., in order to take office as Buffalo’s Congressman. With a big house and a bigger Hummer, he sets out to ‘change the world,’ per his campaign slogan, and asks everyone’s favorite deity for a little help in doing so. After several pointers fail to make things clear, God (Morgan Freeman) decides to tell him face-to-face: “I want you, Evan Baxter, to build me an ark.”

Although Evan’s skepticism eventually subsides, the heavenly hints – pairs of animals in chronic pursuit, relentless hair growth, a wardrobe of robes, and so on – do him no favors when it comes to his wife (Lauren Graham), his kids, his staff, and corrupt Congressman Long (John Goodman), who looks to Evan to co-sponsor a bill permitting the development of nationally protected forests.

And so it goes, with Evan building a boat as the scoffing only increases with the passing of each montage – the first of which consists of nothing but Carell hitting his thumb and falling down over and over and over again. The gags are all similarly harmless, although seemingly destined to amuse those with more juvenile tastes (Bird poop! Pratfall! More bird poop!), while the grown-ups get to savor the occasional quip from members of Evan’s staff, including Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, and Jonah Hill (a Loggins and Messina highlight comes to mind). Each and every change of heart arrives precisely when expected, and life lessons are learned all over the place. To its benefit, the sentimentality of it all is spread throughout, avoiding the third-act preachiness that plagued its predecessors.

The schmaltz, however, can only be forgiven so much when there simply aren’t many laughs to keep matters afloat. For what is allegedly the most expensive comedy ever made, the producers must have paid per joke instead of per laugh, and that’s with a loose definition of ‘joke’ in play. The tale of Noah’s Ark isn’t meant for comedy, just as the Biblical plagues weren’t intended for horror, as it was employed in last spring’s The Reaping, but each was instead milked for spectacle and had an equally meager amount of humor as a result – intentional or otherwise.

The animal effects are impressive enough, and the climactic flood perfectly adequate, but at the end of the day, money simply doesn’t equal funny, and charging anyone with a mission instead of unleashing them with powers aplenty is prone to curb the comic abilities of any star, with Carell making no exception. Ultimately, what few jokes do work about are never necessarily to the credit of any one cast or crew member’s actual talent, but more like lucky lines that seemingly slipped into the A-B-C nature of the proceedings and remained wedged in between this poop gag and that corny acronym.

While it may not be as chronically humorous as 'Bruce' had been, there’s certainly no harm that comes from watching Carell’s crusade unfold, and to that effect, while I’m not exactly asking for another spin-off, I can’t say I’d be above seeing Miss Sykes get sassy with the Man Upstairs in a few years. At the very least, she would bequeath more laughs unto us all; Lord knows we need ‘em.

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originally posted: 07/01/07 07:05:40
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User Comments

8/30/14 Mario is the Best This movie is funny. 4 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Flick!! 3 stars
1/11/08 David Cohen If "Oh God" had been written for morons, it would have been Evan Almighty 2 stars
12/29/07 mitul i fail to see the "comedy" in this, and "black woman says funny things" isn't funny at all 2 stars
10/17/07 mb Kinda funny 3 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold Proof that Steve Carrel wasn't why 40-Year-Old Virgin wasn't funny. 4 stars
10/09/07 Gretchen Seitz Nice parody of... uh, of what?...WHAT?!? Not a parody? Well duh!?! 2 stars
7/10/07 Anthony Feor it's just not funny 1 stars
7/04/07 PamE Carell was terrific and saved the movie, Enjoyed Bruce better, too 3 stars
7/02/07 Blizz About as bland as cinema gets...even worse than BRUCE, which was also shit. 1 stars
6/28/07 gr117 Just wanted to show my appreciation for the "all ark no bite" tagline in one of the reviews 3 stars
6/26/07 Quigley Not as bad as I expected. Carell was great and so was Freeman. "Bruce" was billions better 4 stars
6/24/07 KingNeutron Unequivocal 5 *'s. See it on bigscreen for FX; buy the DVD for the kids. 5 stars
6/23/07 DonnyM 1408 was Sold out. I would rather read to old people. 1 stars
6/23/07 Anthony G Terrible Terrible film. 1 stars
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  22-Jun-2007 (PG)
  DVD: 09-Oct-2007



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