We went to see Evan Almighty last night, and I must say, it was a rather enjoyable film. And so was the preview for Order of the Phoenix that ran before it…
Although the movie clearly reads as a spinoff of Bruce Almighty, I think that it also stands on its own. The basic premise is that Evan is a US Congressman approached by God with orders to build an Ark. Naturally, he is generally made fun of by the community, since he happens to be building an ark in the middle of a drought. And oh ho ho, how we all laugh. No, seriously. You should go check it out. There’s a good balance of wit, physical comedy, and cultural references. There were also some great cameos, sometimes in surprising places.
I also think that the film had a subtle, but excellent, overtone of environmentalism. There’s a scene in which God contrasts a housing development with how the land looked before, and a subplot involving greedy, thoughtless development of land at all costs. The movie was also carbon neutral, which I think is pretty darn sweet. It’s a bummer that the carbon neutral thing wasn’t mentioned in the early part of the credits, because I think it would have been a great way to increase awareness of carbon offsets. The website does invite visitors to donate money to plant trees, though, so that’s pretty cool.
Given all the animal scenes, I was curious to know if American Humane had monitored the film. There were certainly some sketchy scenes with animals, so I was a bit concerned. Apparently, Hollywood is wising up to people who are concerned about the treatment of animals, because American Humane did in fact monitor it, rating it outstanding. (Don’t click on that link if you care about small spoilers, but the rest of you can go on ahead!) Did you know that American Humane is the only animal welfare organization with on-set jurisdiction? And that it has been doing film monitoring since 1940? Fact of the day!
A few parts of the movie were a bit heavy handed, but when they lightened up and stopped taking themselves seriously, it was a lot of fun. I also really liked the, er, bit at the end. You’ll see what I mean if you go to see it. Although apparently no one else was as into it as I was. Which was…disappointing.
I also note that Coast Cinemas has finally joined the twenty first century, with those sweet flip up arm rests and squishy seats that almost every movie theatre on earth already has. Hooray!