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Evan Almighty

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Evan Almighty
More like a box-office bomb of biblical proportions.
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Tom Shadyac
Produced By: Tom Shadyac
Gary Barber
Roger Birnbaum
Neal H. Moritz
Michael Bostick
Written By: Steve Oedekerk
Based On: Characters by Steve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
Starring: Steve Carell
Lauren Graham
Morgan Freeman
Wanda Sykes
Jonah Hill
John Goodman
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Ian Baker
Distributed By: Universal Studios
Release Date: June 22, 2007
Runtime: 96 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $175 million
Box Office: $173.4 million
Prequel: Bruce Almighty

Evan Almighty is a 2007 comedy film, and a loose sequel to the 2003 Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty.


Former news anchor Evan Baxter wins a special congressional election, and moves to Washington D.C. along with his family. When the corrupt Congressman Long tries to force Baxter into backing bills that will strip away environmental protection, God suddenly appears to Evan and commands him to build an ark in preparation for another Great Flood. Over the following weeks, Evan's appearance starts to change so that he resembles the biblical Noah, and animals begin following him everywhere he goes, causing his family and colleagues to think he's gone crazy as he actually starts to build the ark.

Bad Qualities

  1. Has barely anything in common with the previous film, outside of Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman (plus a third Bruce Almighty cast member, Catherine Bell, in a very brief cameo in the first scene) appearing. If anything, it comes across more like someone threw the story of Noah's Ark into a blender along with the scripts for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Santa Clause, the latter of which is especially glaring in the scene where Evan tries shaving away his new beard only for it to instantly grow back.
  2. No mention at all of the previous film's main character, Bruce Nolan. In fairness, Jim Carrey did originally agree to do a cameo as Bruce, but ended up not being available due to starring in The Number 23, and was supposedly also worried that the producers would try to have him replace Carell.
  3. Evan's character is completely changed; whereas in the first film he was a smug and unsympathetic news anchor, here he's a congressman and all-around nice guy. He may as well be an entirely different character. This is probably because, while Evan was entertaining in the few appearances he got, he wasn't really interesting enough to deserve his own film.
  4. Much more heavy-handed Christian message and allegory than in Bruce Almighty. While there was nothing wrong in and of itself with the idea of making this a more overtly Christian film than its prequel, the way they go about it ends up being a pretty stock retelling of Noah's Ark, a parable that just about anyone in U.S. (and even much of the world outside of it) will already be extremely familiar with.
  5. For no reason that's ever explained, God keeps appearing and tormenting Evan, even before telling him that he needs to build the ark. While God played his share of pranks on Bruce in the first film, they were in response to Bruce's own moments of being a jerk; Evan never does anything to deserve this kind of treatment.
  6. God's plan in this movie makes no sense at all. Instead of just appearing to Evan and telling him that Congressman Long's dam is poorly-built and on the verge of collapse, he gradually turns Evan into Noah and makes hundreds of animals show up. This ends up allowing the dam to collapse, and leads to the flooding of a big chunk of Washington, D.C., along with the destruction of dozens of homes, including that of Evan and his family. What's more, there's no indication why God chooses Evan of people for his plan, aside from a very brief line implying that he's literally the only honest congressman in D.C.; at least in the previous film, God appeared to Bruce as a direct result of him cursing God out for his recent misfortune.
  7. The film can't decide whether it wants to focus on its Christian message or its environmental message (a scene that tried to link the two themes was cut in editing), resulting in the film's tone feeling pretty confused at points.
  8. The filmmakers apparently either didn't understand how congress actually works, or thought viewers wouldn't understand it, leading to the characters repeatedly acting as though the House of Representatives is the only chamber of congress (ignoring the Senate), as well as various other factual errors.
  9. God tells Evan's wife at one point, without even the slightest hint of irony, that he flooded the world and wiped out all life apart from the people and animals on Noah's ark because of how much he loves mankind. While this viewpoint - that the flood was an unfortunate but necessary act in order to cleanse the world of evil - isn't at all uncommon among Christians, the film explains it incredibly poorly, making it seem like God's shrugging off the extinction of almost all life on Earth as not being that big of a deal.
  10. While visually spectacular, the climatic flood scene isn't really that interesting, just having most of the main cast riding Evan's ark through the flooded streets of Washington, D.C.

Good Qualities

  1. Steve Carell does manage to get the occasional laugh, and so does Wanda Sykes. In addition, Carell has some good chemistry with Lauren Graham, who plays Evan's wife.
  2. Morgan Freeman gives a good performance as God once again.
  3. The visual effects for the animals and the flood sequence at the end are pretty impressive.
  4. The film's message - that acts of random kindness can end up having a big impact on people's lives, even if it doesn't seem that way at first - is an entirely valid one, even if the delivery of that message is a little muddled.
  5. While it may be disappointing as a Bruce Almighty sequel, if you treat it as its own stand-alone Christian film it's actually not that bad at all.
  6. The tone is more family friendly than the first film.
  7. Ed Helms reunites with Office costar Steve Carell in a few scenes.


Evan Almighty received much worse reviews than its prequel, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 23%. It eventually made just short of $200m at the box-office, a respectable enough figure for a comedy, but its budget of $175m (an extremely high amount for a comedy even now, to say nothing of the mid-2000s) resulted in it taking a major loss.

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