Movie Reviews: Evan Almighty
Critics by and large have concluded that Evan Almighty is no The Ten Commandments, that Steve Carell is no Charlton Heston, and that director Tom Shadyac is no Cecil B. DeMille. "Here's the funniest thing: In trying desperately to reconnect with religious Americans, Hollywood assumes religious Americans are so dumb they'll laugh at anything," Michael Booth observes in the Denver Post. Actually, Lou Lumenick in the New York Post suggests that the movie may be a hit despite its meager offerings. "The Red State folk may be more receptive to this bland, family-friendly entertainment than we cynics living in the Blue States," he says. But Chris Vognar, writing in the Red State of Texas calls Evan Almighty "an unholy mess" and "a movie desperately in search of a soul." The film takes an almost universal pounding in both Red and Blue states. "There's no movie here -- just a concept that holds little promise and can't even deliver on those low expectations," comments Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times. Despite its huge budget, Liam Lacey writes in the Toronto Globe and Mail, the film winds up as "a lesson in the importance of tameness." He concludes: "It's as if the script were based on a typo in Genesis - you know, the version where the Lord says, 'Let there be slight.'" Indeed, Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times remarks that the film feels "like it had been written over a weekend with a book of bad Bible puns in hand." Or as Rafer Gusmán of Newsday puts it similarly in Newsday: "Mostly it feels like a store-bought mix of jokes and sentiments." Claudia Puig in USA Today dismisses it more trenchantly: "It's an almighty, humorless bore," she writes.