Bruce Almighty (2003)

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Sally
I’ll come right out and say it: this is probably my second favorite Jim Carrey comedy. Ben hates that I feel this way, but I’ve never been a fan of Carrey’s early work. I welcome the safe predicability of Bruce Almighty. It’s “cute funny,” and much more bearable to watch than Ace Ventura or Dumb & Dumber. Controversial, I know. But I’m sticking to my guns here.

The premise is simple: Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a news reporter who is always given human interest fluff pieces. When he is passed over for a prestigious newscaster position, he looses it on air and winds up fired. Nolan blames this and every other bit of bad luck in his life on God. So naturally, God invites him to his office where he bestows upon Bruce all of his powers. Bruce quickly learns that being God is really hard and not much fun (when he’s doing the job right, anyway).

This movie doesn’t preach any revolutionary message, and the ending is predicable, but I still like it. There’s a certain charm to Carrey’s performance, and there are a few scenes where he’s able to showcase his non-comedic acting chops. Morgan Freeman is great as God. I mean, the voice alone sells it. Bruce eventually learns an important lesson, that God won’t make your life perfect– or even easy for that matter– but he can make it better, provided you meet him halfway. I enjoyed the emphasis on seeking personal happiness through helping others, and the notion that God never interferes with free will. Again, nothing new or particularly earth shattering, but it’s nice to be reminded of this once in awhile.

Rating: B-


Ben
The best way to describe this Jim Carrey comedy is ‘safe’. Carrey is not taking any risks in this comedy about an average guy (Carrey) who attains the powers of God himself (Morgan Freeman) for a week. It’s God’s way of showing him that being a deity is not that easy.

Carrey is Bruce Nolan, a news reporter constantly passed over for promotions at work in favour of the office suck up (Steve Carell). One rainy night, when Bruce is complaining to the heavens about his lot in life, God decides to teach him being all powerful isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

There is nothing here from Carrey that we haven’t seen before. I find this film quite boring compared to his earlier work. The best thing about it is Steve Carell’s character, Evan Baxter. This was one of his earliest film roles, and he is very funny in the role of Bruce’s nemesis. One scene in particular where he is being controlled by Bruce during a live broadcast is hilarious. During the credits, they show the out takes from the sequence and his co-anchor (Catherine Bell) can barely control herself. You don’t notice during the film, but she is not in shot at all during his performance, and it’s because she was in hysterics next to him.

This is an average film. Everybody in this cast has been better, given the talent involved, it’s a shame this wasn’t funnier. In saying that, it’s a million times better than the terrible follow up, Evan Almighty.

Rating: C-

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One thought on “Bruce Almighty (2003)

  1. Pingback: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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