After a string of disappointments and flops, Jim Carrey returns with heavenly power in Bruce Almighty. Re-teaming with the men that made Carrey such a success in Ace Ventura, Carrey serves up some PG-13 fun that can appeal to just about everyone.
Carrey stars as Bruce Nolan, a struggling television reporter that is looking to nab an anchor spot at his news station. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. In fact, he is embarrassed on national television, his dog pisses all over his couch, he is mugged and he gets in a car crash... who wouldn't curse out God (beside Ned Flanders, that is)?
Enter Morgan Freeman, or God. Freeman/God (do we really need to differentiate the two?) calmly gives Bruce his powers, to show him just how hard of a job it is to be God. Bruce, of course, uses the powers for his own personal gain, such as making a fool of Ethan, the man who stole his job (played by Steve Carell, who is featured in the funniest scene of the movie), finding Jimmy Hoffa's body, and giving his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) the greatest orgasm she has ever known. My question is, won't the sex for the rest of her life be unsatisfactory?
Anyway, Bruce Almighty is a hilarious piece of work that finally allows Carrey to prove he is worth the $25 million paycheck. His last comedy, Me, Myself and Irene, was over-the-top disturbing, with gross-out humor that turned away a lot of audiences. His other movies have been mediocre dramas, including the dreadfully boring The Majestic and the funny, though not especially memorable Man on the Moon. Thankfully, Bruce Almighty is simple, PG-13 rated, made for all audiences, and capitalizes on the fact that Carrey is one of the most talented individuals around. His style of comedy is bursting at the seams.
The first two-thirds of the movie are great, drawing large amounts of laughter from the audience. There is no one scene that really stands out, except for perhaps Steve Carell's anchorman scene, but the movie is consistently funny throughout. I had no trouble enjoying myself.
The movie only struggles a little bit near the end, as the script tries to make something of a story. What results is a small morality tale mixed with PG-rated romance; nothing very exciting, but at the same time fairly safe. It would have been nice to see something a little less formulaic happen, but given the content of the movie - entertaining fluff - it is acceptable.
Bruce Almighty should have no problem lasting for many more weeks in the top ten, as it is one of the funnier movies in a long time.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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