Opening 9 Aug 2007
Writing credits: Steve Oedekerk, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe
Principal actors: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips
The Almighty in this case is God (Morgan Freeman), and yes, it is a sequel to Bruce Almighty by the same director, Tom Shadyac. New politician Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) moves to Virginia to be near his work in the U.S. Congress. He lives with his wife and three sons in a pretentious new house. God’s first sign to him comes through his alarm clock which always goes off at 6:14. Naturally, everyone knows that this refers to the Bible verse Genesis 6:14 which says, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” Soon long wooden planks are unloaded at his doorstep. Evan’s beard grows and grows, and he dons hand-woven robes. This is detrimental to his job, but he has no choice but to become Noah. The best part of the film is the actual ark. He builds it according to Genesis 15 and 16 “… the length 300 cubits, breadth 50 cubits, and height 30 cubits…a window… and the door of the ark …set in the side thereof with lower, second, and third stories.” His sons and thousands of animals in pairs hand him the tools.
The film is so lightweight that whole families could it watch together and nobody would be adversely affected for more than 95 minutes. The moral of the story is: one act of random kindness at a time will change the world. Here, the “Making Of” is probably more interesting than the actual film. According to the production notes, many real animals were on set and others were photographed and inserted via blue screen. Film carpenters made a real ark, set upon a concrete base like ones used for airport landing strips. The filmmakers consciously chose an environmental theme (the flood originates from misuse of the environment). In order to practice what they were preaching, they planted several thousand trees to counteract the effect of their carbon emissions during the shoot. How the film will influence the career of Steve Carell, who just successfully starred in The 40 Year Old Virgin, remains to be seen. Perhaps acting in a “biblical comedy tale” will help his rise into Hollywood’s firmament. (Becky Tan)