Bruce Almighty

Movie Review by Toby White

Starring: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Baker Hall
Director: Tom Shadyac

You can imagine the pitching session; “Okay, so Jim Carrey is a disgruntled reporter for a network news station who feels he keeps getting dealt lousy cards in life until God calls him up and gives him his powers for a week.” “Wait a minute, Jim Carrey has the power of God? That’s fantastic. We’ll do it.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the definitive example of a vacuous storyline given the green light simply by the presence of star power. But BRUCE ALMIGHTY is actually rather good. Carrey, director Tom Shadyac and a cracking cast lift what could have been, on paper, a predictable, two-dimensional, quick-buck comedy into a joyous, often hilarious night at the movies. Any sense of predictability is cleverly disguised; you know the jokes are coming but you’re looking forward to them largely because Carrey’s delivery is marvellous, a wonderful return to form in such previous collaborations with Shadyac as LIAR LIAR.

Admittedly it sags in places; irritating incidental music litters nearly every scene and there’s always the saccharine-fuelled morality tale at the end, but these are forgivable. The latter largely because it’s given gravitas by the omnipotent Morgan Freeman who, quite surprisingly, adds his own element of humour into the melting pot.

At last, a simple film that doesn’t waste its potential and, just for the record to all religious zealots waiting in the wings, as Shadyac puts it this film is not about poking fun at God, it’s about God poking fun at us. And Jim Carrey as God? Now that’s a marvellous idea.

4 out of 6 stars

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