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Evan Almighty (DQ)


Stars: Steve Carell, Lauren Graham, Morgan Freeman, John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Harve Presnell

Director: Tom Shadyac

Carell fans expecting a hilarious comedy should perhaps be warned that this is more of an Ark of Dreams. Carell is again Evan, the snidy reporter from Bruce Almighty, who has now just been elected to Congress, has a gorgeous wife (the underrated Graham) and three sons and is undoubtedly a Good Guy.

Goodman as a Congressman (an equivalent of the character he played in Born Yesterday) is obviously a Bad Guy, especially as he has despoiled God's green and pleasant land with a dodgy housing project.

All of which causes God (Freeman) to cajole an initally sceptical Evan into building an ark in anticipation of a September flood.
Soon, Evan's assumed a beard, staff and robe and been exiled by Congress. His wife and children leave him, but then, persuaded by God in the guise of a fast food waiter, they come back and help build the ark. All of which is faintly dull.

And the animals come - two by two. This part is good for a visual gasp, as tigers, giraffes, elephants and pandas amble on board the ark together. It's an impressive special effects achievement and a better one than the ark riding the flood that inevitably arrives on cue.

Carell is OK, but he should stick to hi-jinks and wry face-pulling: Kevin Costner he ain't. The second half of the film, however, is more entertaining than the first, so stick around.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Jul 2007