Retro Review: Bruce Almighty

The fate of the world rests in the hands of a television journalist? Perish the thought.

Jim Carrey stars as Bruce Nolan, a human-interests television journalist who is at his wit’s end when he loses his dream job and nearly his life.

Bruce condemns God (Morgan Freeman) for making him have such a crappy life. Bruce challenges God that he could do God’s job better.

Bruce should have been careful what he wished for because that is exactly what happens. Jennifer Aniston stars as Bruce’s overly supportive girlfriend, Grace.

“Bruce Almighty” is vintage Carrey when it wants to be. But there seems to be two films locked inside one.

One of these films wants to be a fable while the other wants to unleash the rubber-man inside Carrey. Ironically this scenario is a lot like Carrey’s real-life. The problem with these two identities slugging it out is that only one can win.

The times where the film is slapstick Carrey at his best are a riot. The scenes where he parts his tomato soup or making a newscaster have a case of involuntary babbling are hysterical and right out of the Carrey handbook. But when the film sinks back to Earth and it tries to make the film a fable/romantic-comedy, you just want to gag.

Freeman’s performance of God is very subtle and reminded me some of the way George Burns played his “almighty” in the classic “Oh! God” series. Which brings me to another question, why is there so much religious protest for this film when there have been other films with actors playing holy figures. Come on, Warren Beatty played an angel or even Willem Dafoe as Jesus.

If these things were screened before they had a chance to protest the film. That might settle doubts, you be the judge.

I loved “Bruce Almighty” for about 35 minutes then I just wanted more of Carrey being Carrey. It really is a shame that a man with so much raw rubbery-humor dwelling inside him has such a split personality both on and off screen.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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