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Evan Almighty
Evan Almighty poster
Directed by Tom Shadyac
Produced by Tom Shadyac
Gary Barber
Roger Birnbaum
Neal H. Moritz
Michael Bostick
Starring Steve Carell
Morgan Freeman
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Ian Baker
Editing by Scott Hill
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release June 22, 2007
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $175 million
Gross revenue $173,418,781

Evan Almighty is a 2007 American religious comedy film and the stand-alone sequel to Bruce Almighty (2003). The film was directed by Tom Shadyac, based on the characters created by Steve Koren and Mark O'Keefe from the original film, and starring Steve Carell as the title character. Morgan Freeman reprised his role as God from the original film. Production of the film began in January 2006. Several visual effect companies were used to provide CGI for the numerous animals and the climactic flood scene. The main plot is a modern day retelling of Noah's Ark.

Universal Pictures stressed the animals' conditions were acceptable despite PETA objections. By the time the film premiered on June 10, 2007, it had become the most expensive film comedy ever. The film grossed less than its budget of $174 million worldwide, making it a financial loss, and it received generally negative reviews. In October 2007, the film was released on DVD and HD DVD.

Plot

Newly elected to Congress, former local television news anchorman Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) leaves his hometown of Buffalo, New York and relocates to the fictional town of Prestige Crest, Virginia, with a political campaign promise to change the world. Evan prays to God (Morgan Freeman) to help him change the world as well. As a result, things are going quite well for Evan, but from the film's beginning, six mysterious things start to happen around him:

  • His alarm clock repeatedly rings at around 6:14 A.M., despite being set for 7:00 A.M.
  • Large quantities of ancient tools and wood are delivered to his house without explanation.
  • Pairs of animals follow him without any apparent reason (with birds even flying into his office through the window).
  • He grows a large beard that is restored wholly as soon as he shaves it.
  • Eight vacant lots near his home in Prestige Crest are purchased in his name.
  • The number "614" appears wherever he goes.

Evan soon learns that 614 refers to the verse in the Book of Genesis, where God instructs Noah to build an Ark in preparation for a flood. God appears to Evan and cordially insists that Evan should build an Ark as well. Although Evan resists, God follows him using different guises and eventually manages to convince him to build the Ark after reminding him that this is the only opportunity he has to change the world and save his community. Concerned about Evan's behavior, his wife, Joan (Lauren Graham), initially supports him, through what she believes is a mid-life crisis. Evan enlists his three sons, Dylan, Jordan, and Ryan (Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, and Jimmy Bennett), to build the Ark. God tells Evan that the flood will come on September 22 at midday.

Animals continue to follow Evan around, which becomes increasingly inconvenient, even following Evan to Congress, despite his efforts to detain them. At first, Evan's greedy boss, Congressman Chuck Long (John Goodman), is unimpressed and allows him latitude, but Long warns Evan that he will no longer tolerate it any more. This eventually compels Evan to publicly confess that the reason for the animals, beard, robe, and strange behavior, is because God had asked him to build an Ark in preparation for a flood. Evan is temporarily suspended from Congress after being humiliated by Long. As security guards kick Evan out of Congress, some birds poop on Long's face before flying away. Joan loses patience and leaves Evan alone after believing that he is going insane. However, Evan decides to continue to build the Ark alone, gaining media attention and public ridicule, while hundreds of animals assemble in pairs. Meanwhile, God appears to Joan at a diner and tells her that he gives people opportunities by which to achieve things rather than directly giving them what they pray for. With her new-found faith from God, Joan returns to Evan to finish the Ark together and prepare for the flood.

On September 22, Evan learns from his three congressional staffers, Rita, Marty, and Eugene (Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, and Jonah Hill), that Long had previously obtained approval for the construction of a dam upstream from Prestige Crest against the locals' personal wishes, and had cut corners in building code checkpoints in doing so. They advise Evan to fight the bill in Congress that day to prevent more of Prestige Crest woodland falling to the same fate. Evan trusts his faith and loads all the animals onto the newly-finished Ark in front of hundreds of spectators and live news crews, who continue to make many jokes about him. Meanwhile, Long and the police place a wrecking ball to destroy the Ark due to numerous building code violations within Prestige Crest. As midday arrives, a brief cloud-burst of rain comes, but is short-lived. Evan sees the swelled-up lake in the distance caused by the recent rainfall, in which the flood bursts Long's unsafe dam and completely destroys Prestige Crest. With the flood surging towards them, all of the spectators, reporters, and policemen immediately scramble together onto the Ark, which rides the flood through the streets and landmarks of Washington, D.C.. The Ark finally halts in front of the Capitol, which interrupts the vote on Long's controversial Public Land Act bill. Long becomes outraged until he soon discovers that the flood really did happen. Evan informs Long that the flood was actually caused by his defective dam. At first, Long refuses to believe this, but Evan and the other Congressmen manage to turn against him, causing the vote on the Public Land Act bill to be suspended and pending investigation of Long and his dam.

In the epilogue, Evan takes his family on a long-promised hiking trip, where God reappears under a tree and congratulates him, telling Evan that he and his family can have everything they had originally wished for. God tells Evan that the correct way to change the world is by doing one Act of Random Kindness (A.R.K.) at a time. Evan and God do the happy dance before God disappears, leaving Evan to rejoin with the rest of his family as a dove flies off the tree and into the sky. During the film's closing credits, God issues a new commandment to the outgoing audience: "Thou shalt do the dance", followed by a celebratory fantasy scene in which the film's cast and crew dance to "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" by C+C Music Factory.

Cast

  • Steve Carell as Evan Baxter
  • Morgan Freeman as God
  • Lauren Graham as Joan Baxter, Evan's wife.
  • Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, and Jimmy Bennett as Dylan, Jordan, and Ryan *Baxter, Evan's three sons.
  • Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, and Jonah Hill as Rita, Marty, and Eugene, *Evan's three congressional staffers.
  • John Goodman as Congressman Chuck Long, Evan's greedy boss.
  • Molly Shannon as Eve Adams
  • Harve Presnell as Congressman Burrows
  • Jon Stewart as himself

Cameos

  • Catherine Bell as Susan Ortega (Uncredited)
  • Maile Flanagan as Mail Carrier
  • Lisa Arch and Simon Helberg as staffers
  • David Barrera and Ed Helms as Ark reporters
  • Ruth Williamson as neighbor
  • Jim Doughan as neighbor
  • Michael Roper as Congressional Reporter
  • Emily Eby as Animal Wrangler

Images

Morgan Freeman films

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)  · The Shawshank Redemption (1994)  · Bruce Almighty (2003)  · Batman Begins (2005)  · Evan Almighty (2007)  · The Dark Knight (2008)  · Conan the Barbarian (2011)  · The Dark Knight Rises (2012)  · Last Vegas (2013)  · Lucy (2014)  · The Lego Movie (2014)  ·

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