Release Date: June 22, 2007
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 95 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Tom Shadyac
Writer: Steve Oedekerk
Address Comments To:Jeff Zucker, Chairman/CEO
(A division of General Electric)
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Marc Shmuger, Chairman
David Linde, Co-Chairman
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
In the story, Evan Baxter, the TV anchorman from BRUCE ALMIGHTY, played in a goofy but winsome manner by Steve Carell, moves his wife and three sons from Buffalo to Washington D.C. after being elected to the United States Congress. Evan wants to change the world, and after being told by his wife to pray, he prays to God for help in changing the world.
God takes Evan up on his offer. He commands Evan to build an ark just like Noah, because a terrible flood is coming on Sept. 22. Evan tries to get out of the job, but God won’t let him in a series of sometimes funny episodes involving animals following Evan around and Evan’s facial hair.
The problem is, Evan’s family doesn’t believe him. It takes divine intervention to help convince them. Even then, however, the working out of God’s prophecy comes in a most unexpected manner, leaving everything in doubt until the very last moment.
EVAN ALMIGHTY is a cute, entertaining family movie for the seven and up crowd. It is hilarious and poignant with a positive ending that redeems some of the silly plot holes.
The best thing about the movie is that it takes God and the Bible seriously, though it doesn’t delve too deeply into these subjects. There are even a couple references to the New Testament, including a reference to alpha and omega, one of the important designations of Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelation. And, the movie contains references to serving God and obeying God, even in the little things, under the heading of doing little “acts of random kindness.”
Other than these things, however, there is a pantheistic, heretical description at one point, where God is said to live inside everything. Of course, this is a false interpretation of God’s omnipresence, which actually means that everything in the universe is immediately in the presence of God, who exists outside of space and time but who is intimately involved with every aspect of the physical universe, including all of humanity.
Also, despite the one allusion to Jesus Christ, the movie does not make it clear that, when God appears to us in human form, he always appears as Jesus Christ as noted in John 1. Thus, EVAN ALMIGHTY should have had more overt references to Jesus when the God character appears. As a result, the movie may be confusing to Christians, especially Christian children, and mislead non-Christians about the real nature of God. In spite of the movie’s excellent use of some biblical references, therefore, the movie is still too coy about the Jesus issue. Ultimately, the movie is a lightweight and light-hearted exploration of God that avoids getting too explicit.
Still, EVAN ALMIGHTY is an improvement over BRUCE ALMIGHTY. It is also more family friendly. As such, Christians will be able to use the movie’s biblical allusions and take the opportunity to tell their neighbors about the Great I Am, the real incarnation of the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, our Savior, Jesus Christ. After all, true obedience to God also means obeying the Word of God. And, following Jesus, the Word Made Flesh, is the ultimate fulfillment of true obedience to God.
EVAN ALMIGHTY is a cute, funny and heartwarming family movie with a thrilling ending that makes up for the movie’s theological mis-steps. Steve Carell is wonderfully ditzy as the object of God’s direct affection and attention. Although EVAN ALMIGHTY has strong biblical references, it also has some scatological humor and theological problems. In particular, the movie does not make it clear that, when God appears in human form, he always appears as Jesus Christ as noted in John 1. Still, it is more family friendly than BRUCE ALMIGHTY, so it is a more suitable movie for older children.