Evan Almighty

Release Date: June 22, 2007

Movie of the Day for Monday, June 11, 2007
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Hey, who gave the monkeys the real alcohol?!

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Position Staff In Brief
179/214 Max Braden Double whammy - the lameness of this sequel only highlights the flash-in-the-pan of Bruce Almighty.

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Karma can be a bitch. Root for evil to befall others and exhibit schadenfreude when they suffer if you like. You run the risk of alienating a higher power if you do, though. Use the example of Evan as a cautionary tale. The news anchor was rude to his co-worker, Bruce, never passing on an opportunity to remind the man of his shortcomings. That was fine and dandy until the day that God made Bruce omnipotent for an indefinite period of time. At that point, Bruce was looking for some retribution and he made poor Evan his whipping boy, humiliating the man multiple times and on camera, no less.

Nature has a way of restoring the balance, though. Even the Creator is capable of feeling guilty at times. Having seen some of the petty ways Bruce acted during his brief period of omnipotence, God feels a bit beholden to Evan. In order to set things right, an offer is made to give Evan an important task that could save the world. The catch is that God has one expectation a sane man might be unwilling to do. Evan must follow in the footsteps of Noah and create an ark. Given that the man currently holds a position in Congress, this could lead to some awkward conversations with constituents.

Bruce Almighty was a box office juggernaut, opening to $85.7 million on the way to domestic receipts of $242.6 million as well as $459.0 million in worldwide box office. Jim Carrey was cast in the perfect role for a comedian of his talent, and he delivered in a satisfying performance. The catch for Universal Studios was how to make a quality sequel without re-tracing the same ideas of the first film. Carrey himself was reticent to return to a role he had already performed. That should have been the end of the story.

Serendipity can be salvation. Daily Show contributor Steve Carell was an afterthought in the first movie. In point of fact, the main reason he was added was due to the fact that one key scene required for the Evan character to make a slew of funny faces. It was not exactly highbrow fare. In the four years since Bruce Almighty was released, only one thing changed. Carell starred in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Suddenly, the comedian went from bit actor to feature star of a $109.2 million movie. Suddenly, Universal Studios had options. They now had a hot actor who had a memorable albeit tiny part in the original film. A follow-up focusing on him would be significantly feature due to the difference in price tags between Carey and Carell, but it would be a safe bet to be one of the strongest comedy releases on the summer schedule. Unlike non-Carey sequels such as Son of the Mask and Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, this Carey follow-up appears likely to succeed even without Carey in it.

Simply put, Evan Almighty is a masterstroke on the part of Universal Studios. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Evan Almighty
Main Cast Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham
Supporting Cast John Goodman, John Michael Higgins, Jimmy Bennett, Wanda Sykes, Jonah Hill
Director Tom Shadyac
Screenwriter Steve Oedekerk
Distributor Universal
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.evanalmighty.com/
Rating PG
Screen Count 3,602
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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