BRUCE ALMIGHTY

Content -2
Quality
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: May 23, 2003

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston,
Morgan Freeman, and Lisa Ann
Walter

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Audience: Teenagers and adults REVIEWER:
Lisa A. Rice and Cheryl
Kull Suppose that for a moment
that God is not omnipresent,
but an anthropomorphic deity
who looked down from heaven
and saw that many of His
beloved created ones were not
attending church, but rather
getting their inspiration from
the movies. Suppose that this
deity decided to use the
silver screen to relay some
important aspects of his
character. How might he choose
to do it? Through a comedy
with big-name worldly actors?
Might he possibly choose to
use a movie with some of the
rough elements to which the
world can relate? The movie
BRUCE ALMIGHTY appears to have
such a perspective. Starring
Jim Carrey, Jennifer Anniston
and Morgan Freeman, BRUCE
ALMIGHTY is the story of a
young man, Bruce, who is
frustrated with life and angry
with God for not fixing
things. He is living with his
girlfriend, Grace (Jennifer
Anniston), and working as a
second-rate anchorman for a
television network. He covers
the local events that no one
else wants while he watches
his co-worker continue to get
promoted. Though TV audiences
love him and look forward to
the zany humor he puts into
every story, Bruce lives his
life in constant frustration.
He not only hates his job and
rival co-worker, he hates the
traffic, his car and the silly
little projects his girlfriend
wants him to do, like
scrapbooks. Bruce curses and
fumes that he just has no luck
and no good breaks in life. He
tells Grace that God is
ignoring him, that God is like
a mean kid holding a
magnifying glass over an ant,
burning off his tentacles and
laughing. "And, I'm not OK
with it!" Bruce rails. "I'm
not OK with this mediocre
life! God could fix my life,
but he doesn't!" One day Grace
gives Bruce some prayer beads,
which he hangs on his rearview
mirror. After a particularly
frustrating day at work, when
he gets passed over for
another promotion, Bruce picks
up the beads and cries out to
God. "OK, God," he pleads, "I
need a miracle. Show me a
sign! I'm desperate, Lord.
Reach down into my life and. .
." CRASH! After swerving to
avoid a truck laden with every
type of sign imaginable, Bruce
crashes his car into a wall.
He's not really hurt, but he
jumps out of the car to rail
at God some more. He hurls the
prayer beads into the water
and screams, "OK, then. Smite
me, you Mighty Smiter! You're
not doing your job!" Instantly
Bruce's beeper goes off, and
he sees a number he doesn't
recognize. After it continues
to go off, he finally answers,
and a recorded voice invites
him to interview for a great
job. The next week, he goes to
the address given and finds
himself on the first floor of
the Omni Presents Co. He talks
to a janitor, played by Morgan
Freeman, who suddenly
reappears on the 7th floor -
dressed in white. He is
screwing in an extremely
bright light bulb, and he asks
Bruce if it's too much light.
Bruce says it's OK. The
janitor replies, "Most people
don't like the light because
they live their lives in the
dark." After chatting awhile,
he finally tells Bruce that He
is God and proves it in a fun,
humorous way. He tells Bruce
that He has heard his
complaints and would like to
offer him the job of God for a
while. He says, "When you walk
out of this building, you will
have all my powers." He
cautions him to remember two
rules: 1) He can't tell anyone
He's god; and, 2) He cannot
interfere with free
will. Terrified at first,
Bruce quickly becomes
delighted. He proceeds to
perform such miracles as the
parting of his tomato soup,
the rustling up of a mighty
wind that causes a woman's
dress to blow up high, the
terrifying of a street gang
that's been harassing an old
man (he causes a monkey to
come out of the ringleader's
rear end, but this is not
explicitly shown), the
increasing of his girlfriend's
breast size, using his
supernatural powers to make
her strongly sexually aroused,
the public humiliation of his
co-worker who got the
promotion, and the finding of
the body of mobster Jimmy
Hoffa, followed by great
public acclaim for the finder
- Bruce himself! Bruce is even
dubbed "Mr. Exclusive," and
the TV station erects a
billboard in his honor. Yes,
all is going well for Bruce
Almighty. It's a life of
non-stop power and pleasure
feeding his narcissism, he
starts hearing something in
his head. What could those
confusing noises be? When
Bruce is able to calm his
mind, he hears, "Now I lay me
down to sleep…" "Dear Lord
God, my son's in trouble…"
"Father, I need you…" It's
prayers! Hundreds of thousands
of prayers from people all
over his town! What does one
do with these? Bruce tries
creating a computerized system
to answer all the prayers, but
it's impossible. They just
keep coming, faster and
faster! Bruce decides to give
everyone what he or she wants.
Thousands win the lottery, but
this soon leads to a revolt
because each winner gets only
$17. Needing a break, Bruce
attends a wild party in his
honor. A terrible
misunderstanding leads to
Grace breaking up with Bruce.
The two go off alone. Later, a
song plays the lyrics,
"There's a God-shaped hole in
all of us." Devastated, Bruce
makes one last appeal to God.
"Lord, I surrender to your
will," he cries with
outstretched arms. Can Bruce
make some powerful decisions
in order to right the cosmic
wrongs he's created or is it
too late? A few moviegoers
will find BRUCE ALMIGHTY to be
a fun movie that demonstrates
aspects of the nature of a
theistic deity. God is shown
to have humor (He even says
"Alrighty then!" - a humorous
nod to one of Carey's other
films), grace, power, and a
clever ability to create
perfect scenarios for his
beloved, but ignorant creation
to acquire character through
relationship. The movie has
awesome songs throughout it,
including, "Are you ready for
a miracle?" It accurately
portrays that all believers
must surrender to God, and it
extols creationism. ("If you
think this day was good,
imagine what I can do in
seven!") The movie shows these
powerful truths, however,
through a very unscrubbed
framework. There are roughly
18 mild obscenities, 11
profanities (including one or
two taking Jesus' name in
vain), a handful of body humor
references, several rude,
obscene hand gestures, the
backside of a photo of a naked
woman, and many, many
instances of railing at God,
almost to a sacrilegious
degree. There are many points
of theology, many of which
reflect the perspectives of
other non-Christian and pagan
religions and do not cohere
with Christianity or the
Bible, as well as points which
are merely heretical. The
deity in the movie has few of
God's attributes and none of
his awesome sovereign nature,
for as the Bible says, "It is
a dreadful thing to fall into
the hands of the living God."
(Hebrews 10:31 (NIV)) The
deity in the movie says that
he is going on vacation which
he clearly does not do since
he is monitoring Bruce the
whole time and could not do if
he was the God of the Bible
who is omnipresent as well as
omnipotent and omniscient.
Furthermore, the deity in the
movie plays a joke on Bruce,
and Bruce as god resembles the
god of mischief who possessed
him in the movie THE MASK more
than the God of the Bible. In
fact, he takes revenge on
several people in vile ways
when he has the powers of god,
and his mean-spirited
vengeance is never fully
rebuked in the movie, although
he does change his attitude
because he wants Grace to love
him. Compounding the
theological problems, toward
the end of the movie, the
deity calls humans to make
their own miracles and
chastises people for looking
up to him and not "becoming
the miracle" themselves, in
contrast to the Bible call to
us to always look up to our
redeemer and savior. Two
other points of dubious
theology are the idea that God
can give His powers to humans
and the notion of "free will"
in the movie, which may go
beyond the Pelegian heresy to
directly conflict with the
sovereignty of God. Of course,
human beings derive talents,
gifts and fruit from God, such
as the gift of love, or the
gift, sometimes, of wisdom,
and we are created in the
image of God, although we all
bear the broken chromosome of
Adam's sin and all of us have
fallen short of the glory of
God. Finally, the Biblical God
is the same yesterday, today
and tomorrow and the Creator
of a world of order. In the
movie, Bruce rudely moves the
Moon and the stars and other
astronomical bodies with minor
consequences, thus violating
the laws of physics. Bruce
repents and is saved apart
from any acceptance of Jesus
Christ (whose name he uses for
a curse word several times).
If this is possible, then
Jesus Christ did not need to
die on the cross for our sins
and his death would, as Paul
notes, mock the very idea of a
good God. In fact, God has
come in the flesh - Jesus
Christ - who is fully God and
fully man. Therefore, God
incarnate looks like who he
is, Jesus Christ, with the
marks of the crucifixion in
his hands, feet and side.
Jesus dismissed those who
asked for the BRUCE ALMIGHTY
type miracle, saying that they
had already rejected the many
signs that God had sent them.
Still, the movie makes its
main point that God's ways are
higher than our ways. In that
sense, BRUCE ALMIGHTY might
remind many people of a modern
watered down re-telling of the
Book of Job in the
Bible. Because of the movie's
objectionable content,
however, BRUCE ALMIGHTY is not
a movie for Christians.
Instead, it's a movie for a
select few of the lost and
frustrated masses who are
desperately searching to know
the love of the One True God.
By the true God's sovereign
grace, those in such a state
may find something BRUCE
ALMIGHTY to set them on a
better, more spiritually
correct path. Thus, perhaps,
BRUCE ALMIGHTY will serve as
one more gritty but divine
lantern directing audiences to
search out the true Almighty,
and His Son, Jesus Christ - if
there is someone there to
witness to them! Please
address your comments
to: Stacey Snider,
Chairman Universal
Pictures Ron Meyer,
President/COO Universal
Studios 100 Universal City
Plaza Universal City, CA
91608-1085 Phone: (818)
777-1000 Web Page:
www.universalstudios.com

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 90 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Director: Tom Shadyac

Executive Producer:

Producer: Michael Bostick, James D.
Bruaker and Jim
Carrey EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum

Writer: Steven Koren and Mark O'Keefe

Address Comments To:

Content:

(BB, C, LLL, VV, SS, N, DD, M) Biblical worldview portraying some of God's characteristics and many of man's ignorant, humorous ways, as well as many positive Christian references and symbolic biblical portrayals such as golden calf, parting of the Red Sea, etc.; relatively strong language with 18 obscenities, 11 profanities, and many rude gestures; violence includes portrayal of (Clint Eastwood's) gun, revenge on a bad gang by having a monkey coming from the ringleader's rear (though not shown); allusion to sex with live-in girlfriend after protagonist has increased her libido; back side of photo portrays subtle outline of naked woman; one portrayal of truckload of marijuana; and, sacrilegious railing at God and apparent acceptance of co-habitation before marriage.

GENRE: Comedy/Drama

BB

C

LLL

VV

SS

N

DD

M

Summary:

In BRUCE ALMIGHTY, Jim Carrey is Bruce, a frustrated man who meets God face-to-face and gets the rare opportunity to try His job for a season. Although it contains some unorthodox theology, gritty language, sexual elements and vulgarity, the movie is nevertheless a provocative work that may spark interest in the unsaved about the ways of the True Almighty.

Review:

Suppose that for a moment that God is not omnipresent, but an anthropomorphic deity who looked down from heaven and saw that many of His beloved created ones were not attending church, but rather getting their inspiration from the movies. Suppose that this deity decided to use the silver screen to relay some important aspects of his character. How might he choose to do it? Through a comedy with big-name worldly actors? Might he possibly choose to use a movie with some of the rough elements to which the world can relate? The movie BRUCE ALMIGHTY appears to have such a perspective.

Starring Jim Carrey, Jennifer Anniston and Morgan Freeman, BRUCE ALMIGHTY is the story of a young man, Bruce, who is frustrated with life and angry with God for not fixing things. He is living with his girlfriend, Grace (Jennifer Anniston), and working as a second-rate anchorman for a television network. He covers the local events that no one else wants while he watches his co-worker continue to get promoted. Though TV audiences love him and look forward to the zany humor he puts into every story, Bruce lives his life in constant frustration. He not only hates his job and rival co-worker, he hates the traffic, his car and the silly little projects his girlfriend wants him to do, like scrapbooks.

Bruce curses and fumes that he just has no luck and no good breaks in life. He tells Grace that God is ignoring him, that God is like a mean kid holding a magnifying glass over an ant, burning off his tentacles and laughing. "And, I'm not OK with it!" Bruce rails. "I'm not OK with this mediocre life! God could fix my life, but he doesn't!"

One day Grace gives Bruce some prayer beads, which he hangs on his rearview mirror. After a particularly frustrating day at work, when he gets passed over for another promotion, Bruce picks up the beads and cries out to God. "OK, God," he pleads, "I need a miracle. Show me a sign! I'm desperate, Lord. Reach down into my life and. . ." CRASH! After swerving to avoid a truck laden with every type of sign imaginable, Bruce crashes his car into a wall. He's not really hurt, but he jumps out of the car to rail at God some more. He hurls the prayer beads into the water and screams, "OK, then. Smite me, you Mighty Smiter! You're not doing your job!"

Instantly Bruce's beeper goes off, and he sees a number he doesn't recognize. After it continues to go off, he finally answers, and a recorded voice invites him to interview for a great job. The next week, he goes to the address given and finds himself on the first floor of the Omni Presents Co. He talks to a janitor, played by Morgan Freeman, who suddenly reappears on the 7th floor - dressed in white. He is screwing in an extremely bright light bulb, and he asks Bruce if it's too much light. Bruce says it's OK. The janitor replies, "Most people don't like the light because they live their lives in the dark." After chatting awhile, he finally tells Bruce that He is God and proves it in a fun, humorous way. He tells Bruce that He has heard his complaints and would like to offer him the job of God for a while. He says, "When you walk out of this building, you will have all my powers." He cautions him to remember two rules: 1) He can't tell anyone He's god; and, 2) He cannot interfere with free will.

Terrified at first, Bruce quickly becomes delighted. He proceeds to perform such miracles as the parting of his tomato soup, the rustling up of a mighty wind that causes a woman's dress to blow up high, the terrifying of a street gang that's been harassing an old man (he causes a monkey to come out of the ringleader's rear end, but this is not explicitly shown), the increasing of his girlfriend's breast size, using his supernatural powers to make her strongly sexually aroused, the public humiliation of his co-worker who got the promotion, and the finding of the body of mobster Jimmy Hoffa, followed by great public acclaim for the finder - Bruce himself! Bruce is even dubbed "Mr. Exclusive," and the TV station erects a billboard in his honor.

Yes, all is going well for Bruce Almighty. It's a life of non-stop power and pleasure feeding his narcissism, he starts hearing something in his head. What could those confusing noises be? When Bruce is able to calm his mind, he hears, "Now I lay me down to sleep…" "Dear Lord God, my son's in trouble…" "Father, I need you…" It's prayers! Hundreds of thousands of prayers from people all over his town! What does one do with these? Bruce tries creating a computerized system to answer all the prayers, but it's impossible. They just keep coming, faster and faster! Bruce decides to give everyone what he or she wants. Thousands win the lottery, but this soon leads to a revolt because each winner gets only $17.

Needing a break, Bruce attends a wild party in his honor. A terrible misunderstanding leads to Grace breaking up with Bruce. The two go off alone. Later, a song plays the lyrics, "There's a God-shaped hole in all of us." Devastated, Bruce makes one last appeal to God. "Lord, I surrender to your will," he cries with outstretched arms. Can Bruce make some powerful decisions in order to right the cosmic wrongs he's created or is it too late?

A few moviegoers will find BRUCE ALMIGHTY to be a fun movie that demonstrates aspects of the nature of a theistic deity. God is shown to have humor (He even says "Alrighty then!" - a humorous nod to one of Carey's other films), grace, power, and a clever ability to create perfect scenarios for his beloved, but ignorant creation to acquire character through relationship. The movie has awesome songs throughout it, including, "Are you ready for a miracle?" It accurately portrays that all believers must surrender to God, and it extols creationism. ("If you think this day was good, imagine what I can do in seven!")

The movie shows these powerful truths, however, through a very unscrubbed framework. There are roughly 18 mild obscenities, 11 profanities (including one or two taking Jesus' name in vain), a handful of body humor references, several rude, obscene hand gestures, the backside of a photo of a naked woman, and many, many instances of railing at God, almost to a sacrilegious degree.

There are many points of theology, many of which reflect the perspectives of other non-Christian and pagan religions and do not cohere with Christianity or the Bible, as well as points which are merely heretical. The deity in the movie has few of God's attributes and none of his awesome sovereign nature, for as the Bible says, "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31 (NIV))

The deity in the movie says that he is going on vacation which he clearly does not do since he is monitoring Bruce the whole time and could not do if he was the God of the Bible who is omnipresent as well as omnipotent and omniscient. Furthermore, the deity in the movie plays a joke on Bruce, and Bruce as god resembles the god of mischief who possessed him in the movie THE MASK more than the God of the Bible. In fact, he takes revenge on several people in vile ways when he has the powers of god, and his mean-spirited vengeance is never fully rebuked in the movie, although he does change his attitude because he wants Grace to love him.

Compounding the theological problems, toward the end of the movie, the deity calls humans to make their own miracles and chastises people for looking up to him and not "becoming the miracle" themselves, in contrast to the Bible call to us to always look up to our redeemer and savior.

Two other points of dubious theology are the idea that God can give His powers to humans and the notion of "free will" in the movie, which may go beyond the Pelegian heresy to directly conflict with the sovereignty of God. Of course, human beings derive talents, gifts and fruit from God, such as the gift of love, or the gift, sometimes, of wisdom, and we are created in the image of God, although we all bear the broken chromosome of Adam's sin and all of us have fallen short of the glory of God.

Finally, the Biblical God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and the Creator of a world of order. In the movie, Bruce rudely moves the Moon and the stars and other astronomical bodies with minor consequences, thus violating the laws of physics.

Bruce repents and is saved apart from any acceptance of Jesus Christ (whose name he uses for a curse word several times). If this is possible, then Jesus Christ did not need to die on the cross for our sins and his death would, as Paul notes, mock the very idea of a good God.

In fact, God has come in the flesh - Jesus Christ - who is fully God and fully man. Therefore, God incarnate looks like who he is, Jesus Christ, with the marks of the crucifixion in his hands, feet and side. Jesus dismissed those who asked for the BRUCE ALMIGHTY type miracle, saying that they had already rejected the many signs that God had sent them.

Still, the movie makes its main point that God's ways are higher than our ways. In that sense, BRUCE ALMIGHTY might remind many people of a modern watered down re-telling of the Book of Job in the Bible.

Because of the movie's objectionable content, however, BRUCE ALMIGHTY is not a movie for Christians. Instead, it's a movie for a select few of the lost and frustrated masses who are desperately searching to know the love of the One True God. By the true God's sovereign grace, those in such a state may find something BRUCE ALMIGHTY to set them on a better, more spiritually correct path. Thus, perhaps, BRUCE ALMIGHTY will serve as one more gritty but divine lantern directing audiences to search out the true Almighty, and His Son, Jesus Christ - if there is someone there to witness to them!

Please address your comments to:

Stacey Snider, Chairman

Universal Pictures

Ron Meyer, President/COO

Universal Studios

100 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608-1085

Phone: (818) 777-1000

Web Page: www.universalstudios.com

In Brief: