Evan Baxter has made the leap from news broadcaster to Congressman in the years since the first film. Transplanting his family to Washington D.C., they move into a new home in a new suburban neighborhood. Everything seems right in Evan’s world until God shows up.
God asks Evan to build an ark because a flood is coming. Evan is understandably skeptical, but he soon realizes it’s really God when animals start following him two by two. He has no choice but to comply with God’s wishes.
Evan recruits his three sons to build the ark. But what will happen to his job, his reputation, and his family as he undertakes the seemingly insane scheme?
“Evan Almighty” is rated PG for mild rude humor and some peril.
First of all, the movie is family friendly. I took my 5-year-old son to it and he was absolutely mesmerized. He loved seeing the animals, Steve Carell’s antics, and Morgan Freeman as God. (He actually asked if Morgan Freeman really was God at one point.) “Evan Almighty” has plenty of jokes for adults and plenty of jokes for kids, so it’s a great film that the whole family can enjoy. They really made the right call by making this movie PG.
Second, as a Christian, it’s a fun concept for me to see played out on the screen. To take a Bible story that everyone knows and loves and transplant it into a modern setting is an entertaining twist. Seeing animals gather around Evan, his neighbors mocking him, etc etc etc gives a different insight on the classic story. Some of Morgan Freeman’s lines about prayer, love, family, and responsibility will also impact Christian audiences, yet it’s not so heavy handed as to put off non-Christian audiences. The creators found the right balance.
Third, I’m a big fan of Steve Carell. This is not really his best big screen performance, but he does bring a lot of energy and improvisation to the story to liven things up. He’s in best form when he’s freaking out, and he does this a lot. From God stalking him to birds roosting on him, Carrell has lots of opportunities to spaz out. But Carell keeps a major part of what made his other films big successes a strong supporting cast. Most notable is Wanda Sykes as Rita. I’ve never been a big fan of Sykes, but she steals every single scene she’s in. Some of the best lines from the film come from her. Also noteworthy is Jonah Hill as Eugene. Eugene is a kiss-up of biblical proportions and he, too, steals a number of scenes. “The Office” fans will also be pleased to see Ed Helms as news reporter Ed Carson. He, too, has notable freak-outs. If I had to guess who might have a third “Almighty” movie based on them, it would be Helms.
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