January 14, 2004

Bruce Almighty (Review)

Contains spoilers. This is your only warning.

Bruce Almighty did fairly well in the theater, which perplexes the Hell out of me. The premise seemed interesting enough - give a man god's powers and see what he does with them. God's sick of hearing him complain, so let the hilarity ensue. Jim Carrey's overacting is surely supposed to be part of the fun, but it got tired in approximately 5 seconds. The odd thing is, it's never bugged me before. This time, I just wanted to get on with the plot.

But no matter. Morgan Freeman does a fine job as god, and Jennifer Aniston was better in Office Space.

This film is a heavy-handed treatment of the idea that no human could handle all the stuff god has to do. The premise is ridiculous. Whenever Bruce does anything, he screws up the world in some way. Even answering prayers is a nightmare. Of course it is - supernatural tampering has its consequences just as natural tampering would. Is the film trying to convince us that god is better at tampering and unbalancing things? No, it's just a clumsy way of telling you not to complain about god because you couldn't do any better. "Let go and let god." WIth a little "don't be so self-centered" thrown in on the side.

But philosophy aside, if you sit down and watch this film, you're watching a bunch of pointless SPFX and Carrey making faces. Except it's not funny like it was in The Mask. Really, I wouldn't have minded being lectured if this film had been at all amusing. I should have believed Ryan when he was hesitant to say anything positive about the film. Thanks for trying, Ryan.

There was a moment near the end where I ht ought the film was going to redeem itself. But then it goes south again and achieves the required Happy Ending™. Bleh.

If you liked this film, feel free to explain to me why. But I've had more fun watching crappy horror movies than this. The only reason I didn't stop watching was so I could write this lousy capsule review.

Posted by James at January 14, 2004 2:54 AM
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I didn't hate it. It had a few good moments (most of them with Stephen Carrel). I wouldn't say it was a good movie, though.

Posted by: julie at January 14, 2004 8:45 AM

Steven Carell, forgot to mention him. Yes - he was a high point of the film.

"Hate" is too strong a word to use on this bland sappiness. "Bleh" is what comes closest for me.

Posted by: James at January 14, 2004 10:04 AM

I just watched it and thought it was a harmless forgettable comedy. As usual, I took the message at face value and didn't question it. I must only do that when I have higher expectations (pardon the pun) going into it.

Posted by: Mike at January 24, 2004 12:44 AM

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