Comedy in the late 90s or early 2000s and the name Jim Carrey go hand in hand. It’s just how it was back then, Jim Carrey was so darn popular that if he was in any film, it would automatically be a box office success.
That was exactly the case with Bruce Almighty, which was a film that heavily played into the usual films he did. However, the one thing that people didn’t expect was that this would be a much bigger film than what it looked like, containing some of the earliest forms of religious comedy, fantastical set design, and some of the most absurd jokes you’ll find in any comedy film that ACTUALLY makes you laugh.
How to Stream or Download Bruce Almighty
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store, click on the Download button at the end of the review. If you like Jim Carrey, check him out also in Batman Forever (1995) or Sonic the Hedgehog (2020).
The Movie Review
Though the film has Carrey gaining the powers of God eventually at some point, Bruce Almighty starts out with a sad and desperately lonely protagonist named Bruce who’s just trying to do his best to get the simple life. However, nothing really seems to be going his way. Whether it’s his work, his colleagues, his love life or the interference of God whenever something is about to go his way.
Tired and abhorrently frustrated with life, Bruce finally seeks out the one man responsible for his situation, Morgan Freeman, aka God. In a strike of rage, Bruce asks for justice for why everything is against him, and an answer to his problems. The Almighty Morgan Freeman gives him the power to run the world for a while, to teach him how difficult it is.
Starting off, I want to say that this is a highly entertaining film but by the filmmaking aspects or even the comedic aspects, it’s not very good. Tom Shadyac’s direction relies entirely on just tossing all of the weight onto the shoulders of Jim Carrey, who has to make an abysmal number of weird faces and wacky noises to make sure this film is entertaining. However, even when he’s not doing those things, the film is constantly relying on Bruce’s ability to just be naturally funny and say funny/awkward things that will make audiences laugh.
That was my one gripe with this film that soured the whole experience on a rewatch, because I used to love this film otherwise. It’s a film that does play its cards right though, because Jim Carrey is by far the best part of most productions that he’s a part of, and that is exactly the case here.
If you take films such as The Mask and Liar Liar, you wouldn’t have fantastic films with a lot of depth, it’s just a whole lot of entertainment because Jim Carrey can make even the coldest people melt with laughter.
Unfortunately for Bruce Almighty though, the rest of the cast doesn’t really exude the same aura and give lackluster performances. Sure, Morgan Freeman as God is probably one of the most iconic roles in recent memory, yet even his performance doesn’t really need that high level of acting or comedy. He’s just there to say his lines and move the plot along then leave the scene.
At least the film features some decent CGI for the time, and has some really cool visual effects during a few sequences. Though aside from that, this film is visual as cookie-cutter as you would expect it to be.
It doesn’t have a distinct aesthetic and kind of goes with the flow, there is no storytelling that is done through the visuals, everything is verbally explained or told. There’s also a huge issue of over exposition, God essentially tells Bruce what he’s giving him before it begins, so the part where he does something Godly just feels less like a big moment.
The Bottom Line
Bruce Almighty is a mighty entertaining film that does have a lot of entertainment value. Though aside from that, it is a film that suffers from a lackluster story, poorly written dialogue, unconvincing acting by everyone aside from Jim Carrey, an overreliance on the protagonist, and it doesn’t even have a distinct visual identity. This a film that is carried singlehandedly by Jim Carrey, and I will keep saying that over and over again even if the pop culture police arrests me.