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Bruce Almighty /

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Lisa Ann Walter, Nora Dunn
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Produced by: Tom Shadyac, Jim Carrey, James D. Brubaker, Michael Bostick, Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Steve Oedekerk
Written by: Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, Steve Oedekerk, Michael O'Keefe

Distributor: Universal Pictures


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Movie Image
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     Well, first of all, let me get this out of the way. I don’t believe in God, and I never intend to start believing. Bruce Almighty just goes to prove my point. If there really was a God, then he would definitely have saved everyone from having to experience the sheer pain of viewing this film. It is an utterly dreadful disaster of a picture, which only contains one scene of good, honest laughs. Of course, the rest of the chuckling comes out of sheer pity. We actually feel bad for the great talent wasted in Bruce Almighty. While being repetitively punched in the face by comic cliché after comic cliché, I really felt like praying for the first time. “Please, Lord, just make it stop, make it stop.” Join me right now in another one. “Please, Lord, spare all the people that you can from the pain of this reckless disaster. Bruce Almighty is unthinkably bad. Amen.”

     For what it’s worth, I will baffle you all with the rather interesting and comedic plot, ripped to shreds by a terrible script. Bruce Nolan (Jim Carey) is an average guy, whose life isn’t going in anywhere near the right direction. On a particularly bad day, when he loses his job, has a fight with his long-time girlfriend (Jennifer Anniston), and is beaten up (along with his car) by a street gang when trying to defend a homeless man, Bruce blames God. He stares up at the sky, on the side of the road, and starts screaming at the top of his lungs: “Why God why?” The next day, Bruce receives a call on his pager from a number that he doesn’t know of. He ignores the page, and continues on living in his miserable state. Minute after minute, he receives the exact same page over and over again, which gets to be very annoying. Without much thought, Bruce chucks the pager out the window of his home. Even after it is run over by a car, it keeps on beeping. The calls from the mysterious number keep coming in. Bruce decides to call the number, and on it, he finds a recording. It tells him to go to a specific address at a specific time.

     Bruce follows the orders that were given on the tape. He pulls up to the building that he was told to go to on the recording, at the same time that it said to, as well. He walks into the giant, vacant room, painted in a bright white. A minute later, he is greeted by a janitor, who asks him to help him sweep the floor. Bruce takes it as a joke, but says that he will do it with him, on a rain check. The janitor will hold him to his word. Bruce goes to the appropriate floor he’s supposed to go to, for everything in the entire building is found on floor number seven. When Bruce reaches that floor, after climbing up several stairs (the elevator is broken), a man that looks identical to the janitor is waiting for him. This time the man is wearing a white suit. This man is God (Morgan Freeman). He tells Bruce that he understands how angry he is, and that at one point, his life will be better. He also that explains that it’s very hard to be God. Even though Bruce doesn’t believe that this man is actually God, and every attempt God uses to try to convince him, he doesn’t really buy into; the ruler of the universe decides to go with the original plan he’s created for Bruce. In order for Bruce to experience how hard it is to make everyone on the planet happy, he grants Bruce his powers for one week, when he will be going on vacation. When Bruce leaves the building, he will be able to do anything that God can; for he is God, for one week.

     The advertisements and fairly favorable reviews led me to believe that Bruce Almighty would be a riot of a comic extravaganza. But after viewing, it’s not hard to say that it’s one of the worst movies of the year. One thing is clearly to blame for this. The movie takes itself way to seriously. Why can’t Hollywood make a descent comedy, that’s comprised only of pure entertainment? Bruce Almighty tries to teach us lessons, define religious morals, and make us respect the good decisions we make in life, and fails miserably. The concept is good, but the way screenwriters Steve Koran, Steve Oedekerk, and Mark O’Keefe deal with the story downright terrible. If the entire movie had been a simple, cookie-cutter, showcase of Carey prancing around, playing with the powers of God, then I probably would’ve been able to recommend the film. But it’s not. Bruce Almighty is a giant collage of cinematic madness that is not even in the least bit rewarding.

     The stars are not to blame for this, however. Carey and Anniston are actually pretty damn great together in the film. But, so what? When good performances serve for absolutely no purpose, whatsoever, they simply act as wasted talent. Acting can rarely save an entire movie from being the train-wreck that it sets out to be. This proves true in this film. The performances in Bruce Almighty are far from great. They are exceptionally entertaining, but not enough to help boring and lifeless material. Most of the time, the doings of Bruce Almighty are just brutal. I laughed maybe three times during the entire movie, which is incredibly weak, considering that it is a comedy. When I walked out the theatre, after watching some of the most forced outtakes I’ve ever seen in my life, there was only one thought that popped up in my head. My brain kept repeatedly saying the words: “Die Bruce Almighty, die and rot in hell.”

     Not that I need to express my hate for Bruce Almighty any longer—let’s review. This film has a good concept, but goes terribly wrong, due to terrible writing on Koran, Oedekerk and O’Keefe’s parts. The performances are good, and had the potential to be very funny with a better script, but under the confines of this material, they are instantly forgettable. Everything else is off too—even the small amounts of special effects are extremely flawed. I would rather be shot in the head than see Bruce Almighty again. I think watching it puts the audience in as much pain as Bruce feels before he takes over the job of God. If there is a God, then why did he let such trash onto the earth?

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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