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</script></div>{/googleAds}The Hollywood machine supposedly likes to follow patterns. If there's a hit, then they'll do another one; if it's a turkey, they'll jump onto the next ‘interesting it thing of the minute' quicker than a ADD kid off his Ritalin. So it comes as a surprise that Evan Almighty even came into being... allow me to clarify.

2003's comedy Bruce Almighty, starring Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston, was a surprise and massive box office success. So it stands to reason, if Hollywood follows patterns, that they would try to do another one. But there were two equally important patterns they chose to ignore in this instance. 1. Jim Carrey doesn't like sequels and very, very, very rarely will do them, and 2. Any sequel to one of his films that doesn't star him ends up sinking faster than the Titanic, financially speaking.

In 2004 un-produced screenwriters Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg (I'll mention them because Hollywood didn't) found themselves in the enviable position of having their spec script ‘The Passion of the Ark' in the middle of a studio bidding war. A couple of million dollars later, and Sony Pictures, in conjunction with Universal, ended up trying to turn it into the sequel to Bruce.

When Carrey told them to get bent, they jumped to the new ‘comedy king' and support player of Bruce, Steve Carell. If ever this was going to work, Carell was the man to help it along. But not even the 40 year-old virgin himself can hide the fact that the rewritten script by Bruce scribes Mark O'Keefe and Steve Koren is a shallow, unfunny, paper thin, ill-conceived mess. This story doesn't know what it wants to be, or who it's aimed at. It's written like a cheap kid's afternoon show comedy with bland, boring, sanitised dialogue, but has enough effects involved to make George Lucas sweat, and is preachier than a TV evangelist. It has an almost condescending/overly simplistic take on it's religious portion, an overtly ‘green' message, and characters so one-dimensional and weak even kids are going to find them boring and hard to stomach. Bruce Almighty worked because it had something for everyone, blending some very disparate elements of humour with character, not just set-pieces or clichés. Evan has none of this... and did I mention it's NOT funny!

If actors like Carell, Morgan Freeman, John Goodman, and Wanda Sykes can't elicit even a snicker in an hour and a half, then the script hasn't been tailored to them, they haven't had licence to let fly, or in short: the project is an ill-conceived dog. Carell is one of the most profoundly funny individuals to appear in a good long while, and is always likeable, but where his Evan was a stand-out in the original a smug antagonist for Carrey this new Evan is flat, far too goody-goody, and is simply not the same character we met before. John Goodman, who might have one of the driest, wickedest senses of humour in the business, looks completely bored as Carell's foil, and isn't given a single scene throughout to administer his gifts. Wanda Sykes is another performer whose gifts are wasted here, with her usual acidic quips blunted to pc boredom... and Morgan Freeman the money was good?

Production values are outstanding, but being this is the most expensive piece of cr... err comedy in film history, this comes as no surprise. Director Tom Shadyac is no stranger to successful comedy, and has contributed both in writing and directing to several of the most successful comedies of the last two decades, including Bruce Almighty, but his crap-o-meter must have been turned off when he decided to do this.

Evan Almighty tells us that ARK following America's obsession with acronyms stands for Acts of Random Kindness... so this reviewer will end on a kind note to all involved: May your next one like a great flood - wash away the bad taste of this one. We'll be waiting to cheer you on.


DVD

DVD Details:

Extensive, HUGE array of different features, including mini-documentaries, bloopers, humorous (more humorous than the movie anyway!) fake featurettes, a game for the kids, and some helpful tips on how to save on carbon-dioxide emissions.

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes; outtakes; several featurettes.

* Featurettes -
o The Almighty Green Set
o Steve Carell Unscripted
o A Flood of Visual Effects
o It's Easy Being Green
o Acts of Random Kindess
o Casting Call: Serengeti
o The Almighty Forest
o The Ark-Itects of Noah's Ark
o Becoming Noah
o Animals on the Set Two-by-Two
* Video Game - Animal Roundup Game
* Deleted/Extended Scenes

Number of discs: - 1 with Keepcase packaging

{pgomakase}

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