Bruce Almighty

It seems that at some point everyone goes back to their roots sooner or later, in the case of Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey joins up with his Ace Ventura and Liar Liar director Tom Shadyac again. It seems after his foray into more serious acting heís back for more farcical rubber faced shenanigans thankfully.

Reporter Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is angry at God. Why? Because after being passed over for a big promotion time after time, getting beaten up, being humiliated live on TV, getting fired and having his car vandalised all within a day, heís more than a little pissed at God and scream at the heavens, completely outraged at God for his indifference towards his life.

As it turns out, God (in the guise of Morgan Freeman) was listening and offers Bruce a challenge Ė have all of his powers and see if Bruce can do a better job while God takes a vacation. There are two rules however, the first being that Bruce cannot tell anyone that heís God for a while and the other being that he is not allowed to tamper with free will.

While completely flabbergasted at first, Bruce soon realises that having all the powers of the Almighty can be fun. Once heís managed to gain confidence with his new powers, he sets about getting his job back and having fun along the way. Unfortunately Bruce, in his haste to correct his own life manages to ignore his loving girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston) who is left by the wayside.

Unfortunately, Bruce soon realises that with great power comes great responsibility (isnít that what Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in Spiderman?). Being God isnít as easy as it first appears, but can Bruce discover whatís really important in his life before he loses everything regardless of his powers.

If Jim Carrey dreams of becoming a serious actor and itís a shame that his forays into more serious role were badly received such as Man on the Moon or The Majestic as heís capable enough for those roles. Luckily he can always rely on his comedic roots to bail him out and get him back to being a top box-office draw. Roles such as Bruce Nolan suit him down to the ground and he does very well here, with enough laughs to please the audience. Jennifer Aniston is surprisingly good and very un-Rachel like. She manages to be charming and very sexy at the same time. She definitely has the quality to have a long term film career, while the rest of the cast of Friends might struggle when the series does finally finish.

Morgan Freeman is also very good as God and has good chemistry with Jim Carrey. They are very good together and at one point Morgan Freeman even says Ace Venturaís trademark line ďAlrighty thenĒ. He plays God with a quality of warm compassion and detachment. He gives the impression that although he is letting Bruce take the wheel, heís still in the passengers seat with dual controls like a kindly driving instructor.

Director Tom Shadyac tends to lose steam towards the end and gets a little too sappy much like Liar Liar. He is more than capable maintaining comedy for comedyís sake such as Ace Ventura so why he feels the urge to go soft with the endings of other films is a mystery. The majority of the first half contains the comedy and the second contains the tears.

The only real issue with the film is that the scope of Bruceís ambition is so small. Surely someone with the power of the Almighty would have a little more imagination (although having a night of unbridled passion with Jennifer Aniston would be high on my list too!)

Bruce Almighty is a charming film which has a broad appeal that makes it ideal for a date-flick. Itís a crowd-pleasing film that shows that Jim Carrey hasnít lost his way just yet. 

Score 7/10