Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) is a man who is going places. When last we saw Evan in “Bruce Almighty”, he was playing the foil to Jim Carrey and having one of the most spectacular on air meltdowns ever recorded.
In the new film “Evan Almighty”, Evan has left his job as a Buffalo anchorman to take his place as a newly elected member of Congress. Evan ran under the campaign of “Change the World” and with his wife Joan (Lauren Graham), and their three sons, heads off to their new home in Virginia to embark on their new life.
Evan’s first day seems to be going well as he finds that he has been reassigned to a much larger office, and that he has been approached to co-sponsor a bill by prominent Congressman Long (John Goodman). This huge honor is not lost on Evan and he sets out to read the very long bill proposal at the sacrifice of a planned family outing. Needless to say this does not sit well with his children.
Evan’s life soon takes a series of unexpected turns when his alarm starts to go off at 6:14 every morning and mysterious shipments of wood and tools begin to arrive at his home. They are quickly dismissed as oddities, but even Evan has a hard time dismissing the arrival of a man who claims to be God (Morgan Freeman), who instructs Evan to build an Ark to prepare for a new flood.
Try as he might, Evan cannot avoid the facts as he soon finds himself followed by all manner of animals and growing a beard that will not go away, despite numerous shaves.
Those around Evan are convinced he is cracking from the stress of his new job, when he finally relents and begins to build the massive ark on lots adjoining his home. As the ark takes form, Evan begins to change and soon sports long hair and a beard and is clad in biblical robes.
This sudden transformation as well as his declaration before Congress and the television public that God has instructed him to build an Ark soon leads Evan to be barred from his duties in Congress, and a laughing stock to the nation.
Undaunted, Evan presses on, even though the strain is wearing on his family and friends as he is convinced he is doing the right thing.
What follows is a funny and touching adventure as Evan and company learn about priorities, life, and what truly matters in one of the most enjoyable family comedies in years.
The film works very well without being over the top or preachy in its messages. Carell once again shows why he is one of the funniest individuals in film and television.
Morgan Freeman is delightful as the almighty himself as he has a very smooth and compassionate style that helps him recapture the performance he did so well in the first film.
While not side-splitting funny, “Evan Almighty” has a lot going for it, and Carell and Freeman as well as the fine supporting cast keeps the film afloat.
3.5 stars out of 5.