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'Evan Almighty' is good for a laugh

"Evan Almighty" has been reviewed as "not so mighty" and "a disappointment" by many news journals and online critics. The movie, however, is actually very entertaining -- when you think of it as an original.

"Evan Almighty" is the sequel to the 2003 comedy, "Bruce Almighty." It stars Steve Carell as Evan Baxter, the news anchor from our own Buffalo. The movie begins with Evan becoming a congressman and moving his wife Joan (hmm... Joan, in a movie about an ark ...) and their three kids to Virginia.

This is the classic tale of a man trying to start a new job in a new house with a strained family chemistry.

Add to this the fact that one day, God (Morgan Freeman) comes to Evan and asks him to build an ark. Now animals begin following him around in pairs, while a powerful congressman (played by John Goodman) begins thinking that Evan is not cut out for the job. His home life doesn't get any better: His wife and kids begin to think he's going through a midlife crisis when his beard and hair grow inexplicably long, and he buys multiple lots on which to build his ark.

And that's pretty much it for a story line. There are good and bad aspects to this movie. I'll begin with the negatives. First of all, there are not enough jokes in this movie. The "jokes" get a bit repetitive, one being the use of 6:14 (Genesis 6:14, the biblical tale of Noah's Ark) on clocks, license plates and phone numbers. Also, excessive use of bird poo cannot be passed off as humor. This movie also seems to waste a lot of potential for humor, with a cast including Carell, Goodman, Freeman, Wanda Sykes and Molly Shannon.

As for the positives, Steve Carell makes this movie. He is the only comic genius with the facial expressions and voice to pull off this role. It would not have been as good if it had starred, say, Ben Stiller, or Will Ferrell. Second, Wanda Sykes is hilarious as Evan's personal assistant. You could easily consider her the comic relief in this "comedy."

If you see this movie, don't think of it as a sequel, because it really isn't one. Jim Carey is one of a kind, and so are his movies. The movies are two different stories. "Bruce" is about a man trying to fix a relationship and learning to become humble. "Evan" is about a man learning to embrace faith and a family learning to stick together in rough times. "Evan" doesn't hold a candle to "Bruce Almighty," but if you watch this movie trying to make comparisons between the two, you're just going to see a crummy sequel. So watch it as if it were an original, and the movie is tolerable.

Zach Malecki will be a junior at Lancaster High School.



Review: Two stars (out of four)


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