PG for mild rude humor and some peril.
June 22 2007
Comedy, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Politics/Religion, Sequel
Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, Jimmy Bennett
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By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
- The sequel to Bruce Almighty finds newscaster Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) giving up his anchor chair to take his seat as a newly elected congressman. He moves his wife (Lauren Graham) and three sons to the suburbs of Virginia and starts to work on Capitol Hill.
As Evan tackles his new position with the goal of changing the world, he is visited by a mysterious person claiming to be God (Morgan Freeman). It seems that God has other plans for Evan, and he tells him to build an ark like the one in the days of Noah. Try as he may, Evan is unable to ignore God’s prodding (or the entourage of animals that have suddenly began following him), and he reluctantly gets started constructing the mammoth boat.
Evan may be convinced that he has really heard from God, but his wife is not on board with this new “assignment.” She fears her husband is having a mid-life crisis. His three sons, however, enjoy this new side of their father who previously spent more time at work than at home.
Most of the film’s comedy comes from a combination of humorous one-liners delivered by his sassy assistant (Wanda Sykes) and numerous sight gags as Evan is transformed into a modern-day Noah and works to complete the boat. Carell delivers a solid performance demonstrating that he too, like his predecessor Jim Carey, is able to excel in physical comedy.
Graham also shines in her portrayal of Evan’s wife, as a woman who wants to stand by her man but, at the same time, worries that his actions are damaging the family.
Though the film’s premise has had some Christians wondering how such a story could be told without being offensive, they need not worry. The film is quite family-friendly excluding one off-color remark that gets repeated a couple times.
God’s attributes also emerge unscathed as He is depicted as kind, loving, and sovereign. The Baxters soon learn that God knows what He is doing, even if they don’t understand it.
Some viewers may have trouble with the fact that God is depicted as a person, but the larger picture painted by the film is that God is all-knowing, ever-present, and personally involved with the details of our lives.
While the family is not portrayed as a “religious” family, the mom discusses prayer with her husband one night and tells him what she and the boys prayed for. Baxter, who seems to have never prayed before, decides to ask God for help as well. He and his wife soon learn that prayers do get answered, just not always in the ways that we expect.
The film also offers a positive message about protecting the environment, though it is not overbearing as we’ve seen in some of Hollywood’s offerings lately.
Evan Almighty is rated PG because of some “mild rude humor,” but this was minimal. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of obscenities. While secular critics are trashing the film as a rather lame comedy because of the cleanliness of its jokes, I found it to be a refreshing reminder that comedies do not need to be crude to be funny.
The movie not only offers an entertaining story, but it provides some heart-warming glimpses of how God often works in our lives. While the plot appeals to adults, the film’s physical comedy and silly animal antics provide ample fodder to keep the young ones entertained as well. Load up the kids and climb aboard for a fun adventure!
Evan Almighty --The Biblical Facts Behind Noah's Ark
Commentary -- Evan Almighty: Blasphemy or Modern-Day Parable?
How well do you know the story of Noah? Take our quiz.
Teach your kids about Noah and the Ark with these online games.
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More articles by Belinda Elliott on CBN.com
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