19. Bruce Almighty (2003)

Not quite a miracle

6/10
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Written by: Steven Koren, Mark O’Keefe, Steve Oedekerk
Starring: Jim Carey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman

Apparently God is Morgan Freeman, and if you’re having the worst day of your life and blaspheme in the middle of a deserted street, God will give you your powers to prove that you can do his job better than he can. Or at least, that’s the premise of the comedy Bruce Almighty.

Hallelujah!

While there are plenty of gags and cute little God-related jokes to keep us interested (parting a red sea of tomato soup, setting a plague of locusts onto some bullying thugs and so on), Bruce Almighty walks on predictable and cliche water so that it sits in limbo between comic success heaven and unbearably cringeworthy hell. Even though it worked for movies such as Liar Liar and Me, Myself and Irene, Jim Carrey’s expected exaggerations feel less enjoyable and somewhat forced in Bruce Almighty as the story and the lessons to be learnt from a film grounded on Christian values and belief lack the naughty baseness that could be found in his earlier movies. 

This isn’t to say that the film is preachy. It has a clear structure, a couple of funny moments, some heartfelt AW moments and a message that manages to feel universal despite te fact that we’re accepting one religion here. But in doing so, Bruce Almighty is too straightforward, too simply and therefore, not very surprising or exciting in any way.

If you’re looking for a funny movie I wouldn’t say Bruce Almighty is the penultimate god of hilarity. Like its main character, Bruce (Carey), the film is an average guy trying really hard (and maybe a bit too hard) to be more extraordinary than he really is.

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