New York Magazine


Evan Almighty
  Release Date: 06/22/07

Starring: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, John Michael Higgins

Director: Tom Shadyac

Rating: (PG)
  Running Time
  90 min
  Universal Pictures
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Right-wing commentators who fulminate about the absence of God and Holy Scripture in Hollywood movies should be pleased—their prayers have been answered!—by Evan Almighty. Except that—oops—God is a black guy and a radical environmentalist, his wrath reserved for developers and the fat-cat politicians they buy with their filthy lucre. In Bruce Almighty, the Lord (Morgan Freeman) gave Jim Carrey unlimited power, and before the film got drippily sincere, it had a good manic stretch with Carrey doing his spastic-clown number. This one is built around Steve Carell's mild self-effacement. He plays the conceited news anchor he did in Bruce Almighty, only now he becomes a politician and goes to Congress "to change the world." Taking him at his word, God casts him as Noah in a bid to kill a piece of anti-environmental legislation. As in the last movie, there's a good middle stretch: Carell's hair and beard start growing uncontrollably, and he stammers lamely trying to explain to his staff and colleagues why pairs of animals are converging on him in the nation's Capitol Building. But Evan Almighty runs out of comic invention early, and the filmmakers fall back on what real politicians do when they exhaust their small stash of ideas: brainless piety. —Reviewed by David Edelstein, New York Magazine