'A comedy of biblical proportions!' Those masters of hyperbole, the
movie-tag-line-writers, at it again; the sequel to 2003's Bruce
Almighty, raises barely a chuckle. The only thing which raises my
interest in this movie above total indifference is its dogmatic
Christian undertones. Sorry, make that overtones.
Steve Carrel, ignoring Jim Carrey's good sense to decline a role reprisal, plays Evan Baxter, the smug news anchor from Bruce Almighty, who has just been elected to congress. With a new life in Virginia and the stress of moving into a house the size of the Acropolis, the pressure of all the change takes its toll on his family. His wife (Lauren Graham), evidently airlifted in from Stepford, and three sons (Jimmy Bennett, Graham Phillips and Johnny Simmons), who do a stilted job of looking sad to a piano accompaniment, pray for the family to become closer, and almost out of guilt, so does Evan.
In what must be the greatest shock of all time, God (Morgan Freeman) actually shows up, but does the whole pesky 'working in mysterious ways' thing all over the place by telling Evan to build a Noah-esquire ark in preparation for a great flood instead of just giving him a pool table or and X-box or something. And in true mischievous deity style, he also forces Evan to grow a beard, long hair and wear worn and tatty robes. Now, back in the day I'm sure razors were hard to come by so the beard was somewhat of an inevitability for Noah, but I'm almost certain it had nothing to do with spirituality. Same with the robes; a massive construction job is surely made all the more difficult by such impractical clothing. Couldn't God have conjured up a pair of steel toed boots and a hard hat for the poor guy? Apparently not.
To paraphrase Bill Hicks, I find the idea that God is messing with us somewhat unsettling, and so does Evan who fights him every step of the way. And who wouldn't? God essentially gets him fired, drives away his loved ones, makes him a laughing stock and at one point actually threatens him. Of course God turns out to be right, and the rational, hard working family man who was getting on fine by himself is forced to eat a large slice of bittersweet humble pie. It's almost as if to be left alone by God, Evan had to tolerate and humour him. What kind of message is that?
Evan Almighty does have a highly commendable environmental slant, with the underlying theme being that the Federal Government is blind to the damage being done to the world around us. It is also the first film ever to offset its carbon emissions and this should surely be considered a landmark achievement by a Hollywood studio. Were it not for the trite, condescending banner of American Christianity flying high above it, Evan Almighty could have been an inoffensive family movie, with a praiseworthy environmental record. But with its confused religious dogma and relentless 'blind faith' message, it ranks as one of the most repugnant movies of all time.
Action / Comedy / Family / Fantasy
Action / Comedy / Family / Fantasy
Buffalo newsman Evan Baxter is elected to Congress with the slogan, "Change the world." He lucks into a huge house in a new Virginia suburb. His Capitol office is also fantastic, but there's a catch: he's tapped by the powerful Congressman Long to co-sponsor a bill to allow development in national parks. In steps God, who appears to a disbelieving Evan and gently commands him to build an ark. Tools and wood arrive in Evan's yard, animal pairs follow, his beard and hair grow wildly, nomad's clothes and a staff appear. Long grows impatient, Evan starts building, his family leaves him, reporters gather, and drought grips D.C. Still, Evan believes. But will he change the world?
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June 09, 2012 at 01:48 AM