Evan Almighty may be the less-regarded sequel to Bruce Almighty, but let’s take a second to realize that Bruce Almighty isn’t a perfect movie either.
In fact, they’re very different from each other. Character traits and basic plot points are changed from the first to the second film in order to make the premise work. Newscaster Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) moves to Washington DC with his family after winning a seat in Congress. After being urged to pray by his wife (Lauren Graham), God (Morgan Freeman) appears to Evan and tells him to build an ark and collect two of each animal in preparation for a flood. Evan is no longer the mean-spirited newscaster from the first movie. He’s a family man now. He’s basically not even the same character.
The two movies contain different types of stories. Evan Almighty is much less of a hypothetical experiment as it is a humorous anecdote. Evan isn’t gaining any real powers really, but just going along with a plan. This film is actually much more similar to The Santa Clause than Bruce Almighty.
Over the course of this film, Evan’s appearance changes. He’s forced to don a beard and wear a robe to get into the Noah spirit. And animals follow him around everywhere. These don’t really end up being necessary to the plot, but it adds a lot of humor. The entire town and country think he’s crazy and his job in Congress is in jeopardy because of it.
Evan Almighty is much more Christian-driven and God is given more of a role. That tone is consistent throughout. It’s much more poignant than a story of this nature probably should be. The complexity of Evan’s relationship with God is explored more than Bruce’s in the last film. Although it’s a little more sloppy in its details and the script isn’t quite as refined, in some regards this movie is still put together a little better.
It’s also much more grounded, since Carell is more down-to-earth compared to Jim Carrey (who played the Bruce in the previous film). He’s not as wild and spastic. His animation is reeled in, and comes and goes when necessary. This movie could have easily been very silly and childish, but has a mature quality, which is appealing amidst the chaos.
While Bruce Almighty may maximize its usage of Carrey’s talents, Evan Almighty doesn’t quite get the best out of Carell. But with that said, it’s still just as entertaining.
Twizard Rating: 86
To some, shaky-cam has become synonymous with low quality. But not the way Paul Greengrass does is. The director doesn’t just do shaky-cam–he masters it. Every single movement is perfected and deliberate so that during fight scenes, we still know exactly what’s happening all while getting the feeling that we’re involved.
The pacing is pretty much perfect in the third installment of the spy-thriller series. We pick up weeks after the events of its predecessor, and Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still trying to figure out his forgotten past. The secret CIA program which was once called Operation Treadstone is essentially the same, except operating under the name of Blackbriar.
Dipping and dodging different assassins, Bourne is one step closer to finding out how he became an important piece in all this. But this time, there’s more desperation. More urgency. He knows he could be dead at any moment and possibly should have been dead already. But he’s not and he doesn’t know how much longer he can cheat death. We feel it too. We want him to find everything out before he gets killed.
It’s this energy that runs all through The Bourne Ultimatum that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Bourne’s character depth doesn’t really progress anywhere from the last film, but we don’t really feel like it needs to. He doesn’t say much, but we can read his thoughts much of the time.
In the end, we’re relieved, but not necessarily satisfied. There is still more to be found out. Although in the moment, we aren’t aware that there will be more sequels to come. We just hope that there are.
Twizard Rating: 95
It’s definitely better than Ocean’s 12, but slightly less phenomenal as Ocean’s 11. While it’s slightly harder to follow than the latter, I’m so glad to see them back in Las Vegas because that means the return of the glamour that the first one had and the second one lacked. The con is also catalyzed by revenge and nothing else–also like the first film.
The jokes are still laughable and there is more character presence, but it’s not as personable as the character who they’re getting revenge for is hardly a presence in the film. So when it’s over and done with we don’t have as much to cheer about. But I will say that the con in this one is brilliant and I love how they’re on a much more unselfish level this time around. That’s pretty much the whole theme to the movie.
If you liked the Ocean’s 11 and 12, then you’re guaranteed to enjoy the 3rd installment in the franchise.
Twizard Rating: 88