Evan Almighty DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

Some decent smaller performances from John Michael Higgins and the wonderful Jonah Hill. I guess Lauren Graham too. She's tasty.
  • OVERALL
    1.5
    POOR
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
Some decent smaller performances from John Michael Higgins and the wonderful Jonah Hill. I guess Lauren Graham too. She's tasty.
THE BAD
Way too much from the Jim Carey Over The Top school here, folks. Bad story, dialogue, direction... all for the low low price of $175 million.
THE FEATURE
Evan Almighty almost surely made comedy movie history. For one, it cost an astronomical $175 million to make. Yes. $175 million for a 96-minute movie. That's $1.82 million per minute, probably also history-making. I might have to do some research on that one, but still... stunning. What's even more stunning than those numbers is the fact that for all that money they produced hardly any laughs in this virtual snooze-fest that just had to have looked a hell of a lot better on paper than it turned out in real life.

I can totally see where they were coming from in making this movie. I mean, if the original Bruce Almighty can make $240 million with Jim Carey who wasn't atop his game, how much can a sequel with the hottest comic property in town, Steve Carell, make? You'd think, just working those ratios, that this would've been at least a $400 million movie. Honestly, I would've thought that, and I really did think that right up until I walked out of the theater the first time I saw this.

There isn't a full-blown laugh to be found throughout this whole movie. Sure, you get a few chuckles, but not really from Steve Carell, who plays Evan Baxter, a newscaster-turned-Congressman who makes a campaign promise to change the world... and God (Morgan Freeman) takes him up on the offer. Most of the few laughs we get are from John Michael Higgins who plays Evan's quirky Congressional handler Marty and the other hot comic property in town, Jonah Hill, as Eugene, an overeager new member of Evan's staff. Wanda Sykes is also a member of Evan's staff but she really just tried way too hard to be funny. John Goodman is OK in a smaller part as a veteran Congressman, Morgan Freeman really isn't even in this that much (although he still rocks when he shows up) and Lauren Graham is, in a word... scintillating. That leaves us with Steve Carell, and it appears he doesn't carry the weight on his shoulders very well quite yet.

I'm pretty sure this movie's failure lies among Carell and writer Steve Oednkerk. Oedenkerk is the goofball comic that used to do all the "Thumb" movies and he also wrote and directed one of the worst movies of all-time: Kung Pow!: Enter the Fist (on a side note, IMDB told me that they're making a sequel, and I almost threw up). There really aren't any funny lines or jokes and it seems the entire brunt of the humor was forced upon Carell's comic brilliance to just come with it. Oedenkerk and director Tom Shadyac both just seem to try and retap into that sheer comic insanity of Carell's The 40 Year Old Virgin, given the amount of material here that looks in the same sort of spontaneous category. In essence, they tried to ride the wave of Carell's hit movie, and hit an undertow.

It still shocks me that such a bad movie cost $175 million to make. Oh, don't feel too bad for them though. I'm sure they'll make it up with DVD sales... unless I have something to say about it...
THE EXTRAS
They certainly don't skimp on the special features here, which is fitting, I suppose. We start off with some Deleted Scenes with a tiny intro from Steve Carell himself. He says that these scenes are funny, but not funny enough for the final cut. Right. There is actually one scene, where Evan is talking to his handler Marty, and he cuts his leg with a saw. It was seriously probably the funniest scene in the whole thing, and it was deleted. Perfect. The whole deal runs about 10 minutes long and, save that scene, worthless.

We get some Outtakes next, with another tiny intro from Carell, which I'm assuming is a running theme. These aren't that funny either. You can tell here how incredibly hard Carell and crew were trying to recapture the essence of Carell's body wax scene from The 40 Year Old Virgin in many different takes of him hitting his thumb with a hammer here. Sad, really. Anyway, they're only a few minutes long and worth skipping.

The Ark-itechts of Noah's Ark is next and this nifty six-minute featurette shows what it took to build the actual ark. Yes, they actually did build a real ark, which answers some of those budgetary questions. Anyway, we get some interview blips from Carell, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins as well as director Tom Shadyac and other crew members about this monstrosity. It's worth watching.

Becoming Noah is next and it goes through the different transformations Carell goes through in the various stages of Noah. It's pretty crazy how much they went through and we get some nice glimpses of this grueling process in this six-minute featurette. Not too shabby.

Steve Carell Unscripted seems like a random collage of Steve Carell moments on the set. It's just over three minutes long and sporadically funny, at best.

Animals on Set Two by Two talks about the animals. Yeah. Tom Shadyac tells us this has the most animals in a movie in movie history. We get a few more of the budget questions answered here with the number of animals used and, with all those animals come the trainers for each animal. We learn what animals like what kinds of food and a bunch of stuff that you probably didn't know and didn't want and/or need to know. It goes on and on and on for about 12 minutes and it didn't need to be that long at all.

Animal Roundup Game is next and it's this lame little match/trivia game where you have to pair animals up and then answer some sort of Animal Planet trivia question to get the last few pairs of animals onto the ark before the floodwaters rise. Snooze.

The Almighty Green Set talks about how the production was virtually all green, from practically everyone in the cast and crew riding bikes on the set instead of using cars to donating the salvageable wood to Habitat for Humanity. It's a five-minute featurette and it's kind of cool to see a big (way too big) production still following the example their movie tries to display.

It's Easy Being Green is a little PSA-ish thing that has various members of the cast and crew giving us little tips and tidbits about little things we can do to help Mother Nature out and such. It's about four and a half minutes long and there are some good bits of info here if you're considering a green conversion.

Acts of Random Kindness is only a few minutes long and it has random cast members talk about the effect of random acts of kindness. Not too in-depth, and some of the stuff we heard before, but whatever. Seems like they're stretching a tad here...

A Flood of Visual Effects has a bunch of the techie people talking about how they made the special effects for the flood scenes and stuff. I don't know why they make these special effects ones so long all the time, because this one is over 14 minutes long and gets quite boring quite quickly.

Casting Call: Serengeti is a mock featurette with these people doing an actual casting call, but for animals. It's kind of lame and what's even lamer is they have a friggin commercial after it from GE. Ugh. Stretching...

The Almighty Forest is the last feature we get here and it's just a big list of people who planted a tree in some forest for some promotion through this movie, I'm assuming.
THE VIDEO
The disc is presented in the anamorphic widescreen format, in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
THE AUDIO
The sound is done through the Dolby Digital 5.1 format.
THE PACKAGE
Nothing special here. The front has a title card with Carell and Freeman hanging around on this crane thing with a bunch of random animals. The back has another wacky shot of Carell along with a synopsis, three random shots from the flick, a special features box which only lists a handfull of the plethora of lame features, along with the billing block and tech specs.
THE FINAL WORD
One of the most boring sequels in recent memory. It might have well been a 40 Year Old Virgin sequel where, instead of having the hip edgy supporting cast, they fill it with old Hollywood standards. They even make the wonderful Jonah Hill look stupid sometimes. That's saying something, folks.

Do you like this review?

Comments