Friday, June 22, 2007

If He Builds It, We Will Laugh…

That’s the premise and goal of this sequel to the Jim Carrey-starring Bruce Almighty.

Evan Almighty stars Steve Carell as Evan Baxter, a minor character from the original God-made-me-do-it movie who has been spun off – and tasked by God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark.

The movie
cost upward of $175 million to make – wrangling pairs of animal can be rather expensive, you know – and that’s without factoring the marketing bill.

That price tag is ridikolous because as a comedy, this so-so sequel isn’t all that funny.

According to director Tom Shadyac, Evan Almighty is a movie about learning to respect the planet. (More than 2,000 trees were planted to neutralize the production’s carbon emissions.)

That’s quite commendable. Too bad they didn’t plant some much-needed humor as well.

Here’s the thing, though: The movie doesn’t blow large monkey chunks – as family entertainment, it is pretty good…there’s something in it for everyone.

Where Bruce was decidedly…naughtier, Evan is way more wholesome and thus, appealing to all.

The former dealt with a man who couldn’t connect to what was important to him (because he was a little selfish and whiny); the latter deals with a man who can’t wait to do this (because he is eager and hopeful).

Our hero wants to change the world, but this might prove a lot more difficult than the newscaster-turned-congressman anticipated – especially when it comes to balancing family and work.

When God commands him to build an ark, Evan just doesn’t know what to do. He questions whether the Big Man would “do this again”; how he’s expected to pull this off; and when he comes to terms with his assignment, what it all means.

Questions, questions, questions…. How about some frakkin’ jokes? (
Wanda Sykes doing her ol’ Wanda Sykes shtick doesn’t count as a joke anymore.)

The most amusing aspect of Evan Almighty is that we’re asked to believe that Lauren Graham could be the mother to three teen- and pre-teen-aged boys.

As if.

Save this one for a rainy day.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Universal Pictures.

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