In hindsight, Bruce Almighty was the death knell for the Jim Carrey we know and love. This isn’t completely a bad thing: Turning away from manic comedy allowed Carrey to do the best acting of his career in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It also allowed for The Number 23. You win some, and you really, really lose some. But that wacky spazz with the ability to manipulate his body like it was made of laffy-taffy was seen hardening in Bruce Almighty, his artful physical comedy becoming a frantic centerpiece to otherwise inept material. It seems strange that Bruce was Carrey’s moment of decay while the film’s sequel, Evan Almighty, welcomes the great Steve Carell into the annals of mainstream comedic stardom.
Carell’s been smart, so far, with his choices of role. Stepping out with small roles in Bruce Almighty and Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda, Carell hit pay dirt with last summer’s sleeper-hit The 40-Year-Old Virgin, quickly establishing him as an actor with even measures of heart and humor. Then he starred in another sleeper: last year’s Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine. It now seems time to allow Carell to try his hand at big-budget ($175 million to be exact) summer comedies, seeing if his mug can rake in the big bucks.
Evan Almighty couldn’t be more critically bulletproof. For those who haven’t peeped the millions of posters that outline buses, subway stations, and theater cases, here’s the skinny: Evan Baxter (Carell) has just won a seat in Congress and is moving his family to a high-priced mini-mansion in Washington D.C. Not two days into his new job, Evan is approached by God (perfectly re-cast Morgan Freeman) to start building an ark to support his family and some animals when a great flood hits on September 22nd.
Catch all of Chris’ “Evan Almighty” review at FilmCritic.com.
A film review by Chris Cabin – Copyright ©2007 filmcritic.com