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Evan Almighty: A Random Act of Something, Anyway

In my opinion, Evan Almighty gets a "K" for "kinda." It's kinda funny, kinda cute, kinda cool to look at. The premise is comical: What issues would a modern-day Noah face when he's called upon to build an ark? And the cast is exceptional: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Wanda Sykes, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, John Michael Higgins — the list continues, and each of them does a fine job. The execution of the funny premise with the funny people, however, feels clunky and weird.

The story is this: Evan Baxter is a new Congressman on Capitol Hill who drives a Hummer, thinks animals are dirty and brushes aside environmental issues. Once settled in DC, however, he's approached by God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark because there is a flood coming. Evan resists at first but God keeps at him, basically forcing him out of his job and into building the ark. Evan's wife and three sons are skeptical at first, but eventually come around to support him. The animals gather at Evan's house in pairs and the flood comes. But lo, there's more to behold, so

There are cultural references that adults will enjoy, and the animals and physical humor will delight kids. Yet, it feels like something is missing all around. There isn't quite enough adult humor for it to be satisfying for grown-ups, but I think if I were a kid I'd be bored by the many slow-moving Capitol Hill scenes having to do with government legislation.

It's a pity this may be the most expensive comedy ever made because though the animals are adorable (I have "Monkeys are awesome!!!" written in my notes) and the CGI flood was impressive (though I couldn't stop thinking about the last time we watched up-close as a huge flood destroyed houses, which was during Hurricane Katrina), I'm not convinced the outcome was quite worth all the trouble.

There is also this element of, well, preachiness that surprised and confused me. For example, God says to Evan "You learn to change the world one act of random kindness at a time." But this is after God has begun forcing (seriously, forcing) Evan into building the ark — and the ark-building itself is certainly not random. Furthermore, we never see Baxter doing acts of random kindness. Ever. But if you can overlook a holey (ha ha) script, if you love these cast members and if you need a summer movie that most of the family will kinda enjoy, Evan Almighty is for you.


Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 10 years
I agree total netflix movie...
gigglesss gigglesss 10 years
i went to go see it tonight with a few friends.. Its was pretty funny, but aimed more at a younger audience, in my opinion. The ending was very corny..
Entertainment Entertainment 10 years
Hey Girrly007 — I believe he is the same character; the movie opens with Evan leaving his news anchor position to become a politician. They spend about a minute on that and then continue with the rest of the story. But Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston are nowhere to be found in the movie, which I found a little strange!
Girrly007 Girrly007 10 years
The thing that really REALLY bothers me about this movie is... Does no one remember that he was in the first movie, Bruce Almighty as a news reporter?!?!?! Hello?! How can he be in a sequel to the movie... and be a DIFFERENT PERSON?!
Kazagirl Kazagirl 10 years
Thanks for the review...I am going to wait until it comes out on DVD.
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
Ouch. I "kinda" want to see it.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
How much did it cost to make this "most expensive comedy of all time"? 'Cause I don't think I'll be dipping into my paycheck to help them make their money back. Sorry, Steve! No offense...
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 10 years
I'll wait for the DVD then rent it. Don't think it's worth spending the $ on in the theatre.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
I'll still see it for the cast members.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Nice review, Buzz. Think I'll wait for the video on this one.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I heard a reviewer on the radio this morning say about the same things that you did! Even though I love Morgan Freeman, I really have no interest in this movie whatsoever.
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