What's wrong with Evan Almighty

In the interests of full disclosure, perhaps I should say at the outset, that I didn't see Bruce Almighty, and perhaps that affected my enjoyment. If I had seen that, the character nuances and such might've made more sense. But I doubt it.

Minor Problem #1 - It doesn't look very impressive

What I mean is, it's the most expensive comedy ever, right? Most of that money went on visual effects, so by the final third of the film, I was at least waiting to see how badass the flood would look. And it was not that good at all. The CGI looked fake and ropey and underwhelming.

Minor Problem #2 - They have no respect for Government!

OK, poor title. Evan Almighty uses the tired, tired old subplot of the kids-who-are-alienated-from-their-dad-cos-he-works-too-much-to-spend-time-with-them. There's a bit in the film when he comes home from the first day as a Congressman with lots of reading to do, and the kids are disappointed that he can't go hiking with them. "New town, same old dad" one grumbles. He's a Congressman! He'll have work to do! Why's he making promises to go hiking? Maybe this was just a gripe for me, but it really bugged me.

(Caveat: That said, John Goodman's character, another Congressman, apparently controls the town's police force)

Major Problem #1 - It's preachy.

The last thing a comedy ever needs is to be sanctimonious. Within the first five minutes, the wife says "It would be nice if we could pray together", and the references to the Noah story, Genesis 6:14 start coming nauseatingly thick and fast. Slate Magazine discusses the religious message of the film here, so read that. God tells Evan to carry out "acts of random kindness" and the end the big reveal is that the initials of those words spells ark. Or "aork", but he didn't build one of those, because they don't exist.

Major Problem #2 - It's not funny.

Probably the biggest problem. The best part is where Evan keeps growing a beard, comes into work, and gets a barrage of decent beard jokes from Wanda Sykes. And that's in the trailer, so if you've seen that, even more reason to give the film a skip. Funny people like John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Jonah Hill and Ed Helms are given absolutely nothing. Molly Shannon makes a brief appearance, and was probably told "do that crazy, annoying shtick you usually do". There are lots of birdshit jokes, and a running gag about Evan dancing. Carrell does low-key well, and making him carry this film doesn't really succeed. Hey! He drove past a cinema advertising "The 40 Year Old Virgin Mary"! God's giving him a book called "Ark Building for Dummies"! More birdshit! Now a dog's going for his crotch! Haha, he's wearing a wig! He's at a Congressional hearing... in a robe! Make it stop!


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