Complete A-Z list

Evan Almighty (AF)


Stars: Steve Carell, Lauren Graham, Morgan Freeman, John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Jimmy Bennett, Jonah Hill, Molly Shannon, Harve Presnell

Director: Tom Shadyac

In Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey used his divine powers to part a bowl of soup, Red Sea-style. This mild-to-the-point-of-pointless sequel frequently feels as exciting as warmed up consomme as it gives Carrey’s Bruce Almighty costar Carell the starring role of a newly-elected Congressman who is put under pressure by venal senior Congressman Goodman to back a dubious land bill designed to make Goodman and his corrupt co-conspirators very rich.

Enter Freeman, back as God. He answers Carell’s prayer – a reprise of his “CHANGE THE WORLD” campaign slogan - by instructing him to build an ark in his back yard in preparation for the flood to come and arranges deliveries of tools, timber and the book “Ark Building for Dummies” to encourage him. And, just to ensure he gets the message, Freeman has Carell followed by an ever growing bestiary – appearing two by two, naturally - and sees to it that Carell cannot shave his beard which grows amok and makes him resemble a latter-day Noah….

Carell (“The weirdo with a beardo”) works hard to raise laughs with the thin material supplied to him by writer Steve Oedekerk but it’s an unwinnable battle since there are too few good jokes (although youngsters will enjoy, I suppose, seeing birds defecate on all and sundry). Sykes has her moments as Carell’s acid tongued assistant, Graham has little to do and does it painlessly as Carell’s wife and Goodman’s turn as a heavy is a tad too familiar to be memorable. And unfortunately this time around there’s not enough of Freeman to save the show. Shadyac’s direction is unmemorable, the special effects – the screen swarms with animals, all of them rather more convincing than the human characters – are first rate, the climactic flood ditto, but in the end, unlike Carell's ark, this sequel sinks.

Alan Frank

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

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

Review date: 30 Jul 2007