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Bruce Almighty

By Michael McDonough,
Jim Carrey goes from pet detective to God. Starring Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Lisa Ann Walter.
Author Rating: 
4.5 Stars

He's already been a pet detective, a lawyer who couldn't lie, and a multiple personality, so it only seems fitting that funnyman Jim Carrey, aka the modern Jerry Lewis, try his hand at being God Himself. The result is one of the comedian's funniest, most entertaining movies in years, despite that his character is a not-all-too-likeable, self-centered, chronic whiner.

That pretty much sums up Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey), a frustrated newscaster who's fed up with presenting "the lighter side of the news", and has his eye on a soon-to-be-available anchor position. When Bruce discovers during his first live news broadcast that the promotion has been awarded to someone else, the news goes to his head. In a single day he ruins his newscast, gets fired from his job, is beaten up by a gang after trying to defend a homeless man from them, and crashes his car into a pole. Dissatisfied with his mediocre life and his supportive girlfriend, Grace (Jennifer Aniston), Bruce gives the Almighty a piece of his mind.

The Man Upstairs (Morgan Freeman), tired of Bruce's constant carping, offers him the chance to do a better job by bestowing the job wannabe with all of His powers. Bruce wastes no time using his new abilities for his own gain, taking revenge on everyone who has wronged him and even spicing up his love life.

But not everything is as simple as it seems...being the Almighty means answering the innumerable prayers of the entire world, or, at least, those of Buffalo. His attempt to answer all of them blindly causes disaster and throws all of creation out of whack. Worse, his neglected relationship is in shambles, and suddenly Bruce is learning just what it means to be lonely at the top. After begging the real God to fix everything, he also learns an important lesson in being careful for what you wish for.

If there's a flaw here, it's the trite, predictable ending, which ties everything up neatly and has a bit too much of a goody-goody feel to it. The script, although quite funny, could also have taken the premise a little further. However, Carrey, reunited with Pet Detective and Liar director Tom Shadyac, is in fine form. The humor is divided equally between the verbal and the physical, and Carrey excels at both. It's a part tailor written for him...no one else could play the part to quite such a goofy extent as Carrey.

 

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