Evan Almighty is a comedy for all ages that stars Steve Carell
as Junior Congressman Evan Baxter whose wish is to "change
the world" is heard by none other than God. When God
appears with the perplexing request to build a ark, Evan is
sure he is losing it. But soon, mysterious deliveries of wood
and tools are bring dropped on his doorstep, animals of every
shape and size are flocking to him two by two and his self-absorbed
life goes from overnight success to almighty mess!
Ah, so now we know there are moments when Steve Carell
isn’t funny. Sure, he tickled our funny bones real hard
as Andy Stitzer in The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) and a suicidal
uncle in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Even the hyperactive
squirrel he voiced in the animation feature Over the Hedge
(2006) made us laugh till we cried. But his reprisal of role
from the successful Tom Shadyac-directed Bruce Almighty (2003)
falls so flat, the movie becomes a drag.
idea sounds amusing on paper: God (yes, the big guy with the
big “G” up there) gets in touch with Carell’s
junior congressman Evan Baxter and instructs him to build
an ark to house two of every animal species because a terrible
flood would be arriving soon. And the newly-elected politician
only has himself to blame, because his motto is a self-righteous
“Change the World”. As expected, chaos ensues.
was amusing to see the signs sent by God to the unsuspecting
Baxter initially: alarms going off at 6:14am (Genesis Chapter
6:14 "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall
make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out
with pitch”), the mysterious blocks of wood sent to
his house, and the animals that flock to Baxter in pairs.
But some 20 minutes into the 95-minuet movie, everything becomes
predictable, from Baxter’s gradual neglect of his family,
Baxter’s nonsensical beard and robe (he’s today’s
Noah, remember?) to the townsfolk’s disbelief at Baxter’s
project and the eventual flood that makes everyone scramble
onto the ark Baxter painstakingly built.
a lot of money has been put into this movie, making it the
most expensive comedy ever made. The actors’ big fat
paychecks aside, the hordes of animals, the massive ark and
the great flood probably took up most of the budget. Yet,
the movie turned out so unfunny that even kids may be left
uninterested at the dull antics the comedy has to offer (Birds
pooping on Baxter’s head? Robes being stuffed into Baxter’s
working suit? We didn’t think such sights would be very
whatever happened to Carell? His deadpan expressions do not
help the comedy to move forward, although we give credit to
his willingness to mix around with the animals. Morgan Freeman’s
God isn’t that rib-tickling with his perpetual smug
the movie gets points for its good-natured feel; because this
is definitely one movie which has no intentions other than
make us chuckle, even if there are only one or two throughout
its entire duration.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
As if to make up for the lackluster movie, this Code
3 DVD contains quite a substantial amount of bonus features.
Some segments come with a short introduction from Carell in
front of the movie’s promotional standee.
are about 15 minutes of “Deleted Scenes”
that did not make it to the final cut of the film. Watch out
for one hilarious scene where Carell shaves and picks out
every strand of facial hair, including those in the nose –
three-minute “Outtakes” section
sees funny moments captured during the shooting of the scenes,
including accidental farts, wrongly recited lines and repeated
goofy expressions by Carell himself.
Ark-itects of Noah’s Ark” is a seven-minute
feature where the cast and crew talked about building the
massive ark. The inspiration apparently came from children’s
books so that the look of the ark can be appealing to everyone.
The cost of building a real ark is also apparently lower than
making one using computer graphics.
Noah” is a six-minute clip about hair makeup
on Carell. Storyboards were drawn for the different stages,
and Carell just had to sit there patiently with the makeup
artiste Dave Anderson for four to six hours before shooting
commences every morning.
makes us chuckle again in the three-minute “Steve
Carell Unscripted” where his crazy antics during
shooting made everyone on set laugh. The sight of the actor
inviting the dog to bite his, err, crotch, is priceless.
the 13-minute “Animals on Set Two by Two”,
the cast and crew talk about the feat of having the most number
of animals in showbiz history. For the record, it’s
over 200 different animals over 75 different species. Poor
Carell, he was screeched at, pooped and spitted on by the
animals during shooting.
Almighty Green Set” is a five-minute clip which
touches on environmental conservation. Director Shadyac believes
in not leaving footprints behind after filming is complete:
He actually bought bicycles for everyone, planted trees at
the end of the shoot and encouraged everyone to save the Earth.
Such nobility, we say.
Easy Being Green” is another five-minute clip
which tells you how to save Mother Nature. The cast dishes
tips like buying fresh food instead of buying frozen ones,
bringing your own coffee mug to coffee joints and using papers
instead of Styrofoam. A very educational clip indeed.
two-minute “Acts of Random Kindness”
is a short interview montage where the cast and crew talk
about their experiences with kind people who have helped opened
the door for them, send small messages to make them feel good
and giving them words of encouragement.
can we not have a feature on the visual effects of the movie?
The seven-minute “A Flood of Visual Effects”
takes a look at how realistic-looking water was created. This
is where the geeks talk about their achievements creating
the flood with their computers.
Easter Egg “Casting Call: Serengeti”
is a cute little piece where you see the casting director
talking to, err, animals, and asking them to show their teeth,
sit up and move a few steps to the left. Oh, he uses a loudspeaker
to talk to the wild beasts.
The disc’s visual transfer is clear enough to make us
differentiate between the different species of animals, as
well as be blown away by the massive flood. There are audio
options of English, Japanese and Thai Dolby Digital 5.1.
by John Li