For those who remember the film Bruce Almighty, this film is basically just a rehash of same idea – only without Jim Carrey, and with a slightly more overt message and jokes that are clearly aimed at a stereotypical American audience. Evan Baxter moves into a rich suburb in New York with his wife and three sons to take up a job in Congress and to fulfil his campaign promise of changing the world. However, when God tells him to build an ark in his backyard he learns, in true family movie style, that to change the world you have to start at home. In becoming ‘New York’s Noah’, Evan reunites his broken family, saves the town from disaster and adopts an otherwise homeless dog.
The comedy is kind of lazy and slapstick, the CG scenes were nothing special and, let’s face it, the plot premise isn’t that great. I haven’t actually seen Steve Carell in a movie before, and even though many people would have preferred Jim Carrey, Carell seemed to be the only thing that holds this shaky movie together.
I read somewhere that this film had a budget of over $80 million, and was one of the most expensive comedies ever made. With that kind of expectation you’d expect something a little better than gags about bird droppings and hitting yourself with a hammer over and over again. There are a few hidden references which are quite funny, and the whole ‘Morgan Freeman as God’ thing works quite well but, all in all, comedy like this emphasizes the fact that this really is just a family film, and it sure doesn’t measure up to recent productions from Pixar.