by John Hawkins | June 18, 2003 4:14 pm
Movie Review Of Bruce Almighty: I have to admit that I’m not a big Jim Carrey fan. While I don’t start looking for the exits when Carrey comes on the screen like I do with Steve Martin or Martin Lawrence, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything Carrey was in more than once. That’s why I was a bit surprised that I liked, “Bruce Almighty” as much as I did.
Of course, the great concept behind the movie helped make it entertaining. In short, Carey complains that God is screwing up his life and God calls him on it. Not only does Carey get to meet God, but the big guy actually decides to give Carey all of his powers. Imagine having all of God’s powers…who wouldn’t want to give that a try?
As you’d expect, the movie was funny. Carey’s over the top antics went over paticularly well in what was supposed to be a “serious” newsroom and against straight woman Jennifer Anniston. So if you’re looking for humor, the movie had it in spades.
However, Bruce Almighty also did a number of other things well. As I mentioned, the concept was great and there was a nifty little love story unfolding between Anniston and Carrey as well. When Carrey & Anniston had some bumps in their relationship later in the movie, I was actually surprised to find that I cared whether they’d get back together or not.
Also, the movie managed to deliver a positive, pro-Christian message without coming across as preachy. That’s fairly rare in Hollywood these days where most movies that deal with Christianity treat it as either malign or sneer in contempt at people who actually believe in God. In contrast to that, In Bruce Almighty, the very likable lead characters regularly pray. Moreover, we get to meet God himself (Morgan Freeman) who comes across as likable and wise, just as most Christians would hope he would be.
I do have two gripes about the movie, neither one of which is a big deal. The laughs did slow down in the last third of the movie as they spent more time on other elements of the story. Not that the movie stopped being funny at that point or that emphasizing the love story or Carrey’s personal growth were bad things, but the last third of the movie just wasn’t as funny as it had been earlier. Also, in my entire life, I have never seen a movie that caught the boom mike on camera as many times as Bruce Almighty. I counted AT LEAST 8 times that the boom mike dipped into shots. Can’t they edit that out? I mean we live in an age where they can make realistic looking giant lizards with radioactive breath and yet they can get rid of a boom mike? It just doesn’t make any sense.
Despite those minor flaws, “Bruce Almighty” is a very good movie. Without hesitation, I’d give it a strong “thumbs up”.
***Update***: There were some questions about the boom mike being visible in the comments section. Apparently, whether the boom mike is seen can vary from theater to theater. I found articles in The Guardian & film flubs that give more information about it. To make a long story short…
“The “masking” of the film (the frame around the screen) can be different from one theater to another, exposing the boom mike sometimes, covering it in others. Often, even though you don’t see the mike in the theaters, you might see it on video, since the conversion of a movie to video picks up a little extra space at the bottom and top of the frame.”
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