Steve Carell reprises his role as the polished, preening newscaster Evan Baxter of “Bruce Almighty,” and is the next one anointed by God to accomplish a holy mission in the hilarious new comedy “Evan Almighty”. Blockbuster comedy director Tom Shadyac (“The Nutty Professor,” “Liar Liar,” “Bruce Almighty”) returns behind the camera for this next episode of divine intervention. This time, however, his cast grows two-by-two.
Newly elected to Congress, Evan leaves Buffalo behind and shepherds his family to suburban northern Virginia. Once there, his life gets turned upside-down when God (Morgan Freeman) appears and mysteriously commands him to build an ark. But his befuddled family just can’t decide whether Evan is having an extraordinary mid-life crisis or is truly onto something of Biblical proportions…
“Evan Almighty” is, in my opinion, much better than its predecessor, “Bruce Almighty.” For one thing, it is much more family friendly, yet the laughs are not diminished. In fact, this film is quite funny. The audience I saw the movie with laughed almost continuously throughout the film. Evan can’t get away from God’s command to build an ark just as in Genesis 6:14 the Bible speaks of God’s command that Noah build the ark. Evan is awakened at 6:14 a.m., and this particular number just keeps popping up in his life.
The humor escalates when he can’t get rid of his beard and his hair begins to lengthen. His futile attempts to hide this from his family and co-workers adds to the hysterics. If anyone questions why the film deals with a flood, when the Bible records there would be no second flooding of the earth, the filmmaker takes care of that honorably as well. In fact, a lesson is learned in the way it is handled. There were a couple of crude words uttered but overall, this film is entertaining and its message in the form of an acronym, Acts of Random Kindness (ARK), is a great one. Without giving too much away, Evan struggles with why he would be chosen to build an ark. Yet, as I once read, the Titanic was built by professionals but the ark was built by an amateur! We approve this film for ages twelve and above, due to some language issues mentioned below. However, It was refreshing to see a film in which people prayed and opened up the Bible and looked into it.