Sort By: By Genre  |  By Rating  |  By Year

Bruce Almighty

Starring: Jim Carrey
Director: Tom Shadyac
Genre: Comedy
Year: 2003
Rating: 3 / 5

Jim Carrey has gone through a number of changes in his impressive career, moving from low-brow comedies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber to riskier dramatic fare like The Majestic. Along the way, his comedic tastes seem to have evolved, opening his films up to a wider audience, a fact evidenced by the performance of Bruce Almighty. With the largest opening weekend ever for a comedy, Jim Carrey has once again shown that he is a powerful force at the box office. Unfortunately, this fact only serves to remind fans of how he has had to evolve to reach this point. While Jim Carrey’s recent films are certainly enjoyable and accessible to more people, they are simply not as funny as some of his best work.

Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a feature reporter for channel 7 in Buffalo, NY. Forever destined to roam the sidelines doing fluff pieces, Bruce nevertheless has dreams of greatness. As he boasts often to his devoted girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston), he should be the station’s next anchor. With the long-time anchor heading into retirement, Bruce senses that the time is now, only he never seems to get a chance to shine. When he is passed over in favor of smarmy Evan Baxter (Steven Carell), Bruce decides he has had enough. After an accident on the side of the road, Bruce rails against God for screwing him again and again, calling him out and risking a fiery wrath. What he gets, however, is something else entirely.

It seems that God (Morgan Freeman) is not without his own sense of humor. After repeatedly paging Bruce, God eventually comes face-to-face with the disgruntled reporter in an abandoned warehouse. Still self-involved and concerned with no one but himself, Bruce is the perfect candidate for this divine plan. God figures he is due a vacation, and so someone – in this case, Bruce – will be endowed with his powers in his absence. How those powers are used, however, is up to Bruce. Will he use them to help other people? Or will he merely help himself? After following the latter road, Bruce finds that he is not really happy, but is he too late to change his ways?

Bruce Almighty is certainly an entertaining film, complete with some definite laugh-out-load moments. In particular, Comedy Central’s Steven Carell should be singled out for an uproarious scene at the anchor desk. Alas, most of the film’s wittiest moments are covered in the film’s advertisements, and the film itself stumbles badly to its uninspired conclusion. Jim Carrey is likeable as Bruce Nolan, although his transformation from selfish prick to sensitive teddy bear is a little too swift. Jennifer Aniston is merely window dressing, afforded few good lines and little of substance. Bruce Almighty promised the power of heaven on earth, yet the result is merely mortal.

Cast:

Jim Carrey..........Bruce Nolan
Morgan Freeman..........God
Jennifer Aniston..........Grace Connelly
Philip Baker Hall..........Jack keller

Certification: Rated PG-13.
Running Time: 101 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
Comments: Send E-mail

[Critics Corner]