Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Bruce Almighty: Not Quite Divine

Jim Carrey's facial contortions can often sell a film all by themselves. However, Carrey's cartoon-like features really shouldn't be the only thing worth seeing in the film. In Bruce Almighty, things aren't quite that dire, but at times, it comes close. Indeed, if we think of Bruce Almighty as a story with three parts the quality of those parts would be thus: crap, hilarious, crap.

Crap part the first: Bruce has a tough life, makes the oh-so-cliched mistakes every ego-centric male does and blames everyone else for his woes (most loudly, God); God hears his complaints and Bruce is endowed with His powers to see if Bruce can do a better job. Contrived, dull and predictable.

Part two: Bruce discovers, much to his shock, he has divine power. He can do whatever he wants and takes side-splittingly funny revenge on co-workers and persecutors. He has his trusty dog using the toilet and remembering to put the seat down afterwards. And his girlfriends breasts seem mysteriously larger the next day!

Crap part the third: Bruce discovers there are consequences for playing with great power (done so much better in last year's Spiderman). Bruce stuffs the world up a bit. Bruce regrets. Bruce finally makes an unselfish act after trying in vain the convince his girlfriend to get back with him. Bruce admits God knows best. God and Bruce moralise. Bruce was bad. God is good. God does good deed, then Bruce does, too.

The middle segment is, however, well worth seeing the film for. The whole audience I was viewing with were in simultaneous hysterics for several minutes as one newsreader's voice is divinely tweaked! However, director Tom Shadyac (Dragonfly, Ace Ventura) could have done a lot more with the potential this story had. Carrey does a reasonable job, but could have got more mileage with a bit of prodding. Jennifer Aniston is forgettable. Morgan Freeman is credible as God to start with, but is just too over the top by the film's end.

Overall: a lot of padding for a few great gags.

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