Movie News

Capone Tells Us If EVAN ALMIGHTY Is A Sin!!

Published at: June 22, 2007, 10:12 a.m. CST by merrick

Hey all. Capone in Chicago here. There's nothing patently offensive about this, the most expensive comedy ever made. Quite the contrary. This is a PG-rated film that screened to church groups even before it was shown to most of the nation's critics. True story. And the money is definitely on the screen. The hundreds of paired animals who get on Evan Baxter's (Steve Carell, reprising his role as the news anchor from BRUCE ALMIGHTY) ark are an impressive visual achievement, as is the massive flood that occurs in the film's final act. But it's a shame that this high-priced work couldn't have worked on a few more laughs and not played it so damn safe. After putting forth the two most impressive (and decided R-rated) film roles of his career in THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, Carell has apparently decided to play it safe for a while, starting with EVAN ALMIGHTY, in which Baxter leaves his new job in favor of becoming a local politician. Unlike the original Jim Carrey work, this film does not give Evan the opportunity to become God (embodied by Morgan Freeman once again) for a time. Instead God wants Evan to build a massive ark in his Washington, D.C. suburb for a flood that is coming. This doesn't bode well for the career of the junior Congressman, who has barely had time to unpack his boxes. But that doesn't stop the obviously corrupt Rep. Long (John Goodman) from setting his sights on Baxter for help on a new real estate development bill that would allow building to be done in certain areas of public parks. If you smell and environmental message approaching, you have a worthy olfactory system. In fact, just about every aspect of EVAN ALMIGHTY is highly predictable, and that's one of many huge problems the film possesses. Long couldn't be more obviously evil if you plastered a twirly mustache on his upper lip. People you'd expect to be intelligent play it so dumb for the sake of the plot. For example, Evan's wife (Lauren Graham) barely bats an eye when her husband's grows a beard in a matter of hours (to look the Noah part, I guess). The Congressman's staff (which includes Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, and the reliable Jonah Hill, who does manage to get a few funny lines in) react to Baxter having an army of animals following him for about five seconds, and then just accept it because... well, actually I'm not sure why. Screenwriter Steve Oedekerk and director Tom Shadyac (both of whom return from the first film) seem content to let what little plausibility this film might have go right out the window for the sake of a good bird poop joke and a few expensive visual effects. There aren't any terrible performances here, and the film's intentions, however obviously, are good, but you'd figure a little more graceful an execution might have been higher on the filmmakers' list of priorities. At the center of it all, Carell manages to pull a few jokes out of his tattered robe that probably weren't on the page, so EVAN ALMIGHTY at least has a few laughs, even if they do feel forced sometimes. It would not have taken a miracle to make this movie work, just a little actual effort and maybe a lot less concern for offending those who take this God stuff so seriously. This feels like a classic example of a film produced by committee, and that's a sin.

Capone






Readers Talkback

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  • June 22, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST

    ughnnnn

    by JeanLuc Dickhard

    kaka

  • June 22, 2007, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Bruce Almighty

    by mastes360

    Was already one of the worse Jim Carry films IMO so why would this lame sequel be any different?.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Also

    by mastes360

    The 170mil budget is a joke and the producers should be up on money laundering charges!.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Movie Sneak Peeks

    by Prof. Brainiac

    Last night during "The Office" marathon, NBC showed clips from the movie during just about every commercial break. I didn't laugh once. Not a good omen for a comedy. This thing is going to bomb.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    about as expected

    by OptimusCrime

    I'll be skipping this one.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Brainiac...

    by Francis Begbie

    I saw them too, did you notice that one of the sneak peeks, Carrell(sp?) acted like Michael Scott, he did an impression of someone to his wife, and when she looked at him funny he said who he was impersonating. I like carrell a lot but this seems like a bad choice, maybe this is his bewitched?

  • June 22, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    What If He Fears The Smell of His Own Farts?

    by Read and Shut Up

    ...whoops. Wrong Talkback.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    This film

    by jimmy_009

    is optimized for maximum box office return. Nothing wrong with that, it is what it is I guess.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    "this God stuff"

    by greyspecter

    When a movie comes along that does take this God stuff seriously (Passion of the Christ) those opposed slam it for being too preachy and judgemental and narrow-minded. When a movies waters any message waaaaay down, they complain at its lack of guts. "She's fat, she's thin, she's fat, she's thin, just pick a body and go with it...That Right!!"

  • June 22, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Francis Begbie

    by Prof. Brainiac

    Yup I saw that. The sneak peeks actually made me NOT want to go to this flick. I hate to think his movie career is already on the downside, but with this and "Get Smart" coming up I don't know. "Get Smart" could be good, but then again it could be "Inspector Gadget."

  • June 22, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    I work at a movie theater

    by dirtsandwich

    I work at a movie theater and stepped in and watched parts. There's nothing there. Boring, dull, no laughs. What a waste of fucking money. Parts of the Ark in the water was cool, but how it ended sucked horse cock.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Nolan laughing = Best movie since Crank

    by darrenspool

    Appealing only to Christians, I hope this crap bombs.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Would ALOMST see this movie...

    by VoteRoslin08

    I would almost see this movie, if only to see who they manage to make a movie about the Noah story and NOT offend Christians. The fact that, based on this article, they seemed to have pulled that off means that the movie must be the most insane steaming pill ever. Based on the trailer, it appears he pulls it off, but can't of got EVERY animal on the arc and further more i can't imagine the flood depicted in the trailer really kills millions of people, so I'm wracking my brain to figure out how they tell this story WITHOUT having it end with God snapping his fingers and making it as if none of it happened... which I can only assume would piss of Christians... Or at least the ones who don't admit vocally or even just internally that the Noah story is horseshit.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Burning question:

    by Jared Syn

    Any dinosaurs on the ark?

  • June 22, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Wanda Sykes will NEVER be Hattie McDaniel

    by Bunch-backdToad

    Hattie McDaniel took the only type of role available to her and gave terrific performances. She also dealt with the patent racism of her industry with tact and grace, facing adversity actors today couldn't begin to dream of. Wanda Sykes just makes poor career choices.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Do "the dance"...

    by markenglert

    ...right out of the theater. Saw this at a preview screening... it was no worse then I thought it would be. I was holding out hope that Carell could pull out some more jokes, but it seems he was unavailable for the many obvious pickups. Wanda Sykes wasn't, apparently.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Yeah, SURE its "intentions are good"...

    by D. Allusion

    To make as many bucketloads of cash as possible, just like that piece of crap that preceded. These are the movies that slavishly pander to the audience. Do you think they have anything to say about anything? About sacrifice, spirituality, right, wrong, really?! It's intentions are NOT good - they are to sell as much oatmeal as possible! I hate to bring up Eli Roth again but I will, goddamnit - at least he WANTED to make that movie (and the fact that there really isn't a huge audience for that stuff bit him in the ass); these people want to make money. Period. (As you can see, the mixture of light comedy and watered-down half-assed religiosity-type stuff just burns my onions. I mean, "Meaning of Life" to this...they're marketing to church groups...church groups who I gather BELIEVE in the literal story of Noah's Ark want to see it turned into a lame-ass two-hour SKIT...ah, fuck it...)

  • June 22, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST

    so..is there a god? mmm....

    by ludmir88

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!

  • June 22, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    It's OK Steve we still love you.

    by OGREISHERE

    I have heard great things about your next movie Dan in Real Life.

  • June 22, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Oh, I didn't know it was Odekerk's and Shadyac's shit..

    by Stalin vs Predator

    Now I know why the first movie was half as funny as root canal without anesthetics.

  • June 22, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    greyspectre:

    by raw_bean

    Show me the reviews from AICN where they called Passion OT Christ "too preachy and judgemental and narrow-minded". Last time I checked, even the atheistic viewpointed reviews were full of praise.

  • June 22, 2007, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Oedekerk

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    He's hit or miss. I hadn't heard of him before Thumb Wars. That Jimmy Neutron film he wrote was ok and he did some funny stuff in Barnyard, but Kung Pow was pretty bad (it is unfortunately getting a sequel which hits screens next year). He does exhibit talent when he can focus it. Steve Carell on the other hand is always funny, even when what he is saying is stupid.

  • June 22, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST

    after the credits role the Ark transforms into Megatron

    by Robots In Das Guys

    BEST.SPOILA.EVAH. **Switches personalities** Sigh...I really like Carell, he's a very good actor, but so far every review seems to indicate this is crappy movie.

  • June 22, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Ooops, forgot to credit you, death on a cracker

    by Robots In Das Guys

    Sweet JESUS, my heart.

  • June 22, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST

    If a guy became a god, the result wouldn't be PG.

    by Some Dude

    That is why these movies are nonsense.

  • June 22, 2007, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Ooparts

    by DDeRosia82

    s8int.co m

  • June 22, 2007, 6:55 p.m. CST

    There's a flood? Where's the SPOLER?

    by theBigE

    Don't give it away, Capone!

  • June 22, 2007, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Uh, yeah....

    by RedEyeDistrict

    I wouldn't even torrent this movie.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:26 p.m. CST

    The beard gag wasn't funny in The Santa Clause

    by themikejonas

    At it isn't funny now.

  • June 23, 2007, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Well thats fitting

    by barnaby jones

    because Bruce Almighty wasn't very funny either.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:25 a.m. CST

    raw_bean

    by stvnhthr

    http://www.aintitcool.com/?q=node/17075

  • June 23, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST

    raw_bean

    by stvnhthr

    oops this link works. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/17075

  • June 23, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Carell has apparently decided to play safe for a while

    by antonphd

    Capone... really? This is what you have to say about Steve Carell because he took one paycheck role? Way to turncoat.<p> <p> Do you work for a living? Do you have to do jobs to make money that you aren't the most excited or proud about? Well, if you don't know what that's like... let me tell you... when you work your ass off to make it in Show Business and you are offered a payday after scraping by for your career... YOU TAKE IT. Fuck man, it's not a downslide. Maybe he wants to make money as well as make people laugh. That's ok you know.

  • June 23, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Steveoedekerk.com

    by Magnum Opus

    Why has the greatest mind in comedy forsaken us?!?!?!?!

  • June 23, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Flop Big or Flop Little?

    by Roboteer

    With EVAN 91% negative on RT's cream-of-the-crop, I think we can say that this pic is a little worse than safe and uneven. In fact EVAN, Thou stinketh up the joint. I'll take the lumps if this swill does boffo business, but BEFORE even one professional review, I said this would tank big. Question is are the Faithful so starved for ANYTHING positive coming out of Hollywood, that they'll pay up to see this crap? With a whisper budget up to as much as $250 M, this needs to perform a miracle its first week. One projection had it at $35 M opening weekend. That won't cut it. Nothing against this project, but big movies are so disappointing this year in general, something needs to flop to get the studios' attention we're not a bunch of rubes.

  • June 23, 2007, 6:30 p.m. CST

    THIS YEAR'S LITTLE MISS ACE VENTURA PET DETECTIVE

    by Enter4None

    Think about the children...'s money! their partents money! PG-cha-ching!

  • June 23, 2007, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but isn't The Office great?

    by mraig

    "Little Kid Lover". That way they'll know exactly what I'm looking for.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:53 p.m. CST

    john goodman had a "twirly evil mustache" role...

    by jig98

    he was the greedy land devoloper in "the borrowers". maybe if he had a mustache in barton fink...

  • June 23, 2007, 8:53 p.m. CST

    john goodman had a "twirly evil mustache" role...

    by jig98

    he was the greedy land devoloper in "the borrowers". maybe if he had a mustache in barton fink...

  • June 24, 2007, 12:53 a.m. CST

    I was forced to see this film...

    by Nodwick

    My wife wanted a light comedy, so we went. I figured if nothing else, I'd get to see the most expensive comedy to date. In the end, I thought it was "meh." Wanda Sykes perpetuates all the black stereotypes we've been told are wrong, but I guess if you're a comedian, that's acceptable material. Anyway, the only time my ears perked up was when MorGod Freeman called Noah's story his favorite, but that everyone has the message wrong; It's not about God's wrath, but it's about the animals coming together, and Noah and his family coming together, side-by-side. Funny, I thought it was about God being pissed and committing genocide on a scale so high, the only remedy was inbreeding among the survivors.

  • June 24, 2007, 5 a.m. CST

    Evan Baxter: Year One

    by Mike_Honcho

    After building the Ark, Evan has a beer and cheats on his wife!

  • June 24, 2007, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Flop Big

    by Roboteer

    Where's the guy who said EVAN will gross $90 M this weekend? Huh? Yeah, daz right, Mr. Badwonka. Don't question Da Man when it comes to movie economics. And my prediction of biggest flop of the year, was well before the truly toxic reviews came out. After a tepid Friday of $11 M, it will open it's 3 days at about $35 M, half of BRUCE ALMIGHTY at twice the price. This is officially a franchise killer. Jobs have already been lost over this. Somewhere, someone noted that Carrey has dodged three of the worst sequels in movie history... MASK2, DUMB & DUMBERER, and now EVAN. Smart guy. Think there will ever be a sequel w/o him on board again? But hold on, Robo, this is gonna have legs like NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. Not with those reviews and the RAT movie on its heels. It still has a shot at the foreign market, but don't think that's gonna help much, as this struggles mightily to surpass $100 M total worldwide. A little dip from BRUCE's half billion. Ya think? When all is said and done, when they've scooped every last giblet off this turkey, EVAN has a shot to lose almost $100 M. Ouch!.... In the "it hurts to be so right all the time" category. We're not quite there yet, but as predicted here first (alongside the gee, did I get that right too, GRINDHOUSE flop), audiences are beginning to get 'zombied out'. Almost all the recent splatterfests have been somewhat disappointing. Bucking that trend is this week's 1408 with more FX thrills instead of entrails. But the writing may be on the wall, in blood no less... we've had enough of the gore. Still, these mostly are very cheap to make and will never disappear altogether. ...No prediction yet, but there's a little fraying around the edges of big screen superhero fare that's got my attention. Numbers were still good, but not as good as the prequels, while budgets are exploding. They have no 'legs', so theaters will be less likely to give away their first week split next time. Ya gotta think, that like SciFi before it, the spandex crowd is getting a little long in the tooth. (Don't look for those WOLVERINE and MAGNETO spinoffs just yet.) All it might take is a superflop. It might have been SUPERMAN RETURNS, but huge merchandising prevented total disaster. It also might have been Spidey3, which is, if you don't know, THE most expensive movie ever made. And by far, outbloating the previous top 3 by $50M. Unofficially, total cost has been whispered near a staggering $400 M. Sam, ya gotta show some restraint! But this was mostly pulled out by foreign box office. Right now, heroes are hot properties. Especially with video game spinoffs, they still are 'can't miss' financially. But as the old stalwarts, I think, begin to lose their luster, it's gonna take the second tier characters to pick up the slack. Obviously, bigger budgets are not the answer, better scripts are. (Did heart, characterization, and story telling suddenly become a lost art in Hollywood this year?) So, IRON MAN becomes an important barometer whether this genre continues to dominate the marketplace for another 5 years. Just don't expect it to last forever. Spidey needs a rest and new faces. FF3 and X4 will likely be the last of their franchises if they don't improve. I think Supes and the Bat are just plain exhausted, but I'm biased, never liking DC much anyway. Barring a tremendous makeover/reinvention, they're basically done I think, and just don't know it yet. When we finally get a franchise killing, studio busting flop among the big 4 (Spidey, XM, SM, BM), and at some point it will happen, that will be the beginning of the end for them all. ...PS If ever a movie/star vehicle deserved to fail, it's LICENSE TO WED ($60 M budget). It should, God willing. Die Robin, die.

  • June 24, 2007, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Off: APOSTLE Plug

    by Roboteer

    Sidney Deane here again. Since it was on cable last night and I couldn't help watching again... I don't seek them out, but THE APOSTLE (1997) is the best Faith-based film I've ever seen. If you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit coming on, rent this instead of seeing EVAN NOTSOMIGHTY. This didn't come out of Hollywood, but was a longtime dream of Mr. Duvall, who starred, wrote, and directed this Born Again tour de force. In a world w/o prejudice, he would not have been absolutely robbed of a Best Actor Oscar that year. I've been a fan since the old TWILIGHT ZONE and OUTER LIMITS. 2010 will mark his 50th year of superior work in the entertainment industry. You can make things right Academy, by giving Bobby a Lifetime Achievement Award while he can proudly walk up and accept it with dignity. Make it so.

  • June 24, 2007, 11:35 a.m. CST

    This kind of sounds like the Oh God movies.

    by Cotton McKnight

    For whatever that's worth. Is Lauren Graham hotter than either a young Terri Garr or Suzanne Pleshette?

  • June 24, 2007, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Okay hold the phone..

    by Cotton McKnight

    I just did a search for Suzanne Pleshette and first of all, I never knew she was married to Tom Poston. Secondly, did anyone else know that he passed away a few months ago?!?!? How come there wasn't a talkback for that? George Utley, you will be missed.

  • June 24, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Ouch

    by Turd Furgeson

    $32MM estimated weekend gross...... OUCH!!!!! This won't even get to $60MM total before it's long forgotten... Shame for Steve Carell, he's been on a roll...

  • June 24, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST

    I'M A SEMINARY STUDENT...

    by Jarados

    ...and I thought the movie was almost totally pointless. There was only one line from the movie that I thought had any real weight to it. The rest of it made little to no sense.

  • June 24, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Morgan Freeman made this movie

    by corvette63

    I don't care what anyone says about this film, Freeman still turns in a delightfully, underplayed performance. There's a scene in a restaurant between God and Evan's wife. Freeman plays it to perfection. He really made the movie for me.

  • June 24, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Wouldn't Bill Cosby have been better casting?

    by NNNOOO!!!

    Riiiight.

  • June 24, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    "If you smell and environmental message approaching..."

    by choptop

    Hrmph.

  • June 24, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    oh well

    by ciroslive

    Name one funny leading man that hasn't been in at least one critically panned financial disaster. Take the bad with the good.

  • June 24, 2007, 5:18 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean

    by Roboteer

    Appreciate the kind words. I remember Jack said something to the effect that "Bobby, you deserved this". I didn't realize how many awards Duvall was up for in his career. Bit of a bridesmaid though. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards (won 1), 3 Emmys (no wins), 6 Golden Globes (4 wins), 2 NY Film Critics Circle Awards (2 wins), 3 BAFTA (Brit Oscars- 1 win), and a plethora of smaller ones. The roles haven't been too shabby.... GODFATHER 1&2, APOCALYPSE NOW, TENDER MERCIES, THX 1138, M.A.S.H., TRUE GRIT, NETWORK, THE CONVERSATION, THE NATURAL, SLINGBLADE, DEEP IMPACT, THE GREAT SANTINI, BULLITT.

  • June 25, 2007, 2:25 a.m. CST

    the end it NOT nigh

    by V-man

    Movies come into and out of favor all the freakin' time. Slasher movies will come back again. In case you didn't notice, they went out for a while some 20 years ago and recently resurfaced. Ditto for SciFi. Ditto for Spandex (only better this tims because they can actually pull off the effects they need to do this). As long as boys take girls on dates, I think we will be stuck with romatic comedies, but even they have good times and bad. Its as simple as this: Someone makes a movie that makes a boatload of money, and a lot of people will try to cash in on it. It happens ALL the time in EVERY market. Its easy money. Studios want to make money, and it works. Get used to it (why you aren't used to it already is beyond me). It isn't that Hollywood has lost its creativity. All that creativity is still there, and every now and then they will throw us a real gem. Then there is the the general 'you can find hate for ANYTHING on the internet,' especially among talk-backers. Remember when the people who came here actually LIKED movies? Now its some kind of contest to see who can write the most offensive insult. Of course its easy to criticize when you haven't done it yourself. Given the large percentage of people in this country and the world that do believe in God, not offending them might be seen as a wise business move. That said, this movie isn't something I feel I need to see.

  • June 25, 2007, 2:26 a.m. CST

    ack! who stole my formatting???? (nt)

    by V-man

    (see previous post devoid of formatting)