Anthony's Film Review

Bruce Almighty (2003)

Jim Carrey returns to comedy in a humorous take on religion...

Bruce Almighty marks the moment when Jim Carrey goes back to starring in a comedy film after a departure into the drama territory. It's not necessarily a permanent stay, as Carrey has already shown himself to be a versatile actor. I like him as the goofy Ace Ventura as much as the weird real-life comedian Andy Kaufman. Still, it's nice to see him go back to his roots once more with Bruce Almighty, a film where he isn't as over-the-top as his earlier films but still delights us.

The story explores a simple what-if situation. What if you had the power of God? Would you perform miracles for humankind or use it for selfish purposes? It depends, of course, on what kind of person you are. For Jim Carrey as news anchor Bruce Nolan, who stumbles into an encounter with God (Morgan Freeman) following problems with his job and his girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston), he gleefully does the latter. Now, why would a supernatural being hand His powers to an ordinary man? Simple. If you're responsible for listening to millions of prayers each day, how can you respond to each one by yourself?

Anyway, Bruce is given the power of God. Immediately, he celebrates by opening a fire hydrant from a distance, lifting a woman's skirt with wind, and walking on water. He also makes his life easier by pushing cars in a street to the side just so he could bypass the grind of rush-hour traffic. Soon, we learn how cruel he can be. In a long funny scene, he humiliates a fellow anchor, Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), by telepathically forcing him to make silly facial expressions and utterances, while on the air.

So that's a sample of the things that Bruce Almighty does with his newfound abilities. Does that necessarily mean that his life will get better? Not really. As Bruce learns, there can still be unwanted and unexpected consequences for his actions. So there are lessons here. I like the movie for that and the humor. If fact, if you bother to not include the moral of the story in the movie, then it becomes a pointless comedy.

The movie is simple and predictable but likable enough. There's really nothing more to it. If there is one thing I did take away from Bruce Almighty, it's the meaning of miracles. Whether you believe in God or not, a miracle is something good that really comes out of your actions. If you care about yourself and other people and do something good, then you've performed a miracle. So maybe instead of praying to a higher power for one, we can just be creative and perform little acts of kindness, the kind of thing Bruce ought to learn.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Bruce Almighty, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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