Bruce Almighty

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Bruce Almighty
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Jim Carrey is one of the funniest, most successful comedic actors of the last ten years and he proves it to us again in Bruce Almighty. Carrey's performance is effortless. His comedic timing is perfect. He is funny from the moment his rubber-like face appears on the screen to the obligatory outtakes at the end of the movie. He takes a rather weak script and turns it into a movie that is well worth the not-so-funny price of admission.

In the not-so-distant past, it was sometimes hard to remember that Jim Carrey is a very funny man. Consider his movies from the last several years. The Majestic? Not funny. Me, Myself and Irene? It had its moments, I suppose (the booby scene). Man on the Moon? Not funny. After seeing Bruce Almighty and reading (yes, that's right, I didn't even hear the interview, I just had to read it on the internet and I must say that even then I had a good chuckle) an interview that Carrey did earlier in the day on The Howard Stern Show, I was quickly reminded that Carrey is one of the funniest, most spontaneous actors on the planet. He joked about his humble past. About living in a car when he was growing up and having to heat his food up on the engine of the car. About working as a janitor and cleaning up the pubes on the men's urinal. About dating a porn star. Jim Carrey was funny. Howard Stern was not (but that's another story).

Bruce Almighty is the story of a self-absorbed Buffalo news reporter, Bruce Nolan (Carrey) whose life is in the shitter. He has been passed over for a big promotion; he got an ass-whopping by a gang of punks; he smashed up his car; and to top it all off, his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) isn't happy with his commitment to their relationship. In a moment of rage, Nolan curses to the high heavens and before he knows it, he is standing before God himself (Morgan Freeman). God has decided to take a little vacation time, hands over his almighty powers to Bruce and tells him if he thinks he can do a better job, well, here you go, here's my powers. He is more or less telling him, here are my powers, you are now God, so try to do a better job than me, you asshole. It is expected that Bruce Almighty will use those powers to help the needy people of the world. Go see the movie to find out if he does this or not.

Bruce Almighty has several moments of pure hilarity. Try to avoid watching any commercials for this movie because as per usual Hollywood practice, some of the great scenes in the movie are ruined. One thing I did find very weird were the scenes with Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston kissing. It was just very strange seeing her locking lips with anyone not named Ross or Joey. Nevertheless, the rather sappy love story and the strange on-screen chemistry between Jim and Jen does not take away from the movie. Carrey is able to take this rather weak script and run to the hills with it. (As I was watching it, I wondered whether, without Carrey, it would have been a complete dud). He makes a boring fart joke funny. He makes the same jokes being played over and over again (the pissing dog, b-e-a-utiful) funny. Actually, the b-e-a-utiful was not so funny, I suppose they were trying to come up with another Jim Carrey catch-phrase (Alrighty then!). He makes a simple line (So long fuckers!) funny.

Don't get me wrong, Bruce Almighty is not Carrey's next Dumb and Dumber. Not nearly as funny. Hell, Ace Ventura is probably a better overall movie. I would probably say Bruce Almighty is more along the lines of Liar Liar. It was funny, but he has been better. But it sure was refreshing seeing someone up on the screen being funny, not forcing it, and looking like he was having fun doing it.

The movie also offers us the usual Hollywood philosophical message - a self-centred reporter, an angry girlfriend, God's powers - not too hard to that one figure out. But I just sort of tuned out that shite. I was there for a good laugh - didn't think I would get it because I was expecting the mundane Oscar-chasing Carrey of the last couple of years - and ended up laughing my ass off from start to end (more or less). Thank God!

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