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Film / Evan Almighty

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In Evan we trust?
Evan Almighty is a 2007 sequel to Bruce Almighty, spoofing the biblical story of The Flood and Noah's ark.

Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), Bruce's rival from the first film, becomes a congressman and moves to Washington D.C. where God (Morgan Freeman) forces him to become the next Noah, presumably to save people and animals from the next Flood. This causes people, even his family, to think he's going crazy.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: When Evan is driving to work after having met God, he passes a movie theater, which is showing The 40-Year-Old Virgin Mary.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy / Adaptational Personality Change: Evan may still have the same name, actor, and smugness, but aside from that, he is a very different character than he was in Bruce Almighty. In this film, he is more of a well-meaning family man who can be a Workaholic and unintentionally neglectful father. This trope may be somewhat justified as he didn't have a lot of screen time in the first film. Now that he is the main lead, we do see a lot more of what he is really like.
  • Answer to Prayers: That people might not understand the answer is discussed in the film.
    God: Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?
  • Arc Number: 614. See As the Good Book Says....
  • Arc Words: "One act of random kindness at a time."
  • Artifact Title: Evan is never actually given almighty powers, as Bruce is in the previous film.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Evan keeps getting prompted with the number 614. Genesis 6:14 is "Make thee an ark of gopherwood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch".
  • Artistic License – Religion: Besides the use of "works in mysterious ways", at the end of the Great Flood God had promised to never flood the entire world ever again. It's subverted because although a global flood was implied, it was actually localized and not global (even if it did make a temporary inland sea). Besides, God didn't cause it; man did.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Rita, when her co-workers decide that getting on the ark is a good idea...
    Rita: I'm cold. I'm wet. I'm going home. (cue dam breaking and ensuing flash flood) Ladies first! Move!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Joan prays that career-obsessed Evan will spend more time with his family. Cue a month-long family project that could save them and fellow politicians.
  • The Beastmaster:
    Rita: I can't even get my cat to use the litterbox...
  • Big Dam Plot: The source of the flood.
  • The Cassandra: As in the original, Baxter's the wannabe he was after Bruce's godly powers wrecked his anchor job.
  • Cassandra Did It: Half-heartedly attempted by Long to deflect his own guilt, but it doesn't work.
  • Characterization Marches On: Evan Baxter goes from a smug, vapid antagonist to a nice, well-meaning father and husband whose only real flaw is that he is a workaholic. Considering he doesn't even have the same job he had the first film, he comes across more as a brand new character that coincidentally has the same name and actor as the original Evan. Steve Carell admitted in an interview around the time of the movie's release that Evan Almighty should just be looked upon as its own stand alone movie, and not as a sequel to Bruce Almighty, and that it's really just a retelling of Noah's Ark set in the present day.
  • Continuity Nod: Susan Ortega, the sexy co-anchor from the first film, turns up briefly in the second (besides God and Evan, she is the only returning character).
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: The titular protagonist of the first film, Bruce, was a bit of a jerky news reporter who blamed God for when things don't go his way. Evan on the other hand, while he can be smug, is a workaholic and an unintentionally neglectful family man.
  • Curse Cut Short: In front of his kids; "Mooooootherfffathersisterbrother!"
  • Cutting Corners: The flood occurs because the dam burst, which was due to the film's antagonist trying to save money in its construction.
  • Dance Party Ending: See "Sudden Musical Ending" below.
  • Death Glare: The whole Senate at Long once they find out his business practices and the fact that a whole community was wiped out thanks to it. If it wasn't for Evan and his Ark, that also could've included lives being lost as well.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: It was not originally written as a sequel to Bruce Almighty and this explains why the character Evan Baxter has a different personality, and really isn't the jerk he was in the first film, though Evan did go through character development at the end.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Long at least has enough decency to act shocked for a few seconds after being told the dam burst (because apparently even he was swindled by the builders regarding how safe it was) before starting to point fingers at Evan.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Animals start flocking to Evan, although he himself hates them (at first).
  • Gaia's Vengeance: God's plan looks like this at times. He seems to think the valley Evan lives in looked better before it was filled with houses, and then there's the No Endor Holocaust ending. It's ultimately a subversion, as it turns out The flood was caused by corrupt humans cutting corners on the construction of a dam, not by God or nature.
  • Gonna Need More X: Evan gives a Jaws Shout-Out when the dam bursts. "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
  • Green Aesop: In the first ten minutes, we see Evan driving a Hummer, ordering kitchen units in wood from old-growth rainforests, and considering sponsoring a bill to open up national parks for development. He hates animals too.
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: Evan's wife is shown walking inside a wooden wheel, presumably to power the hauling of materials to the upper levels of the Ark.
  • In Mysterious Ways: The 555 materials supplier? Check. Knowing the dam would burst? A mystery only God knew.
  • Incredibly Inconvenient Deity: Evan grows a beard all of a sudden, is forced to build an ark among other things
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Formerly a TV reporter and anchorman, Evan has now become a congressman.
  • Noah's Story Arc: The film had the title character from the former assume the role of Noah when God tells him to make an ark because of an incoming flood.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Even if we assume that no one got killed during the initial flood, the huge amount of property damage, resulting mold and the fact that sources of clean water would be compromised after such a disaster make the fact that Evan became a marginally better human being not such a great accomplishment as the movie wants us to think. This Cracked article puts it the best.
  • No Party Given: Evan drives a Hummer and watches MSNBC and, to explain for non-US tropers, this is a stereotypically Republican car and a network whose opinion shows tend to be Democratic-leaning.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: A trope reported to be used in a deleted scene in the first film occurs when God uses this.. then being God, one does expect it (as mentioned in the Evan Almighty entry).
  • Prophecy Twist: Evan is expecting a flood due to rain like in the story. In reality, it's just a flash flood caused by a shoddily built dam breaking.
  • Punny Name: When God poses as a human, he claims to be "Al Mighty". There's also a real estate agent named "Eve Adams".
  • Running Gag:
  • Same Character, But Different: Evan Baxter, who's almost an entirely different character than in Bruce Almighty. He's suddenly gone from anchorman to congressman note , has moved from Buffalo to D.C., now has a wife and three kids, and has undergone a personality shift from an antagonistic news reporter to a family man whose worst trait is being a workaholic.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Rita
  • Selective Obliviousness: No one seems to notice the changes in Evan that seem to happen instantly. No one notices Evan's clothes teleport off him and into a neatly folded bundle in a nationally televised hearing. No one notices Evan's hair change from brown to white overnight.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: God. Now you see him, now you don't.
  • Stealth Pun
    • Evan's wife is named Joan. He's building an arc ark. Joan of Arc, anyone?
    • As Evan is laying out all of the plans he has now that he's moved into his new house, God laughs heartily. "Man plans and God laughs."
  • Sudden Musical Ending: The cast starts singing and dancing to "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" during the credits.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: God's behavior towards Evan is often bordering on downright cruel, compared to the Trickster Mentor he was to Bruce in the first film. At least he didn't make Bruce and the people in his life, question whether Bruce was losing his grip on reality, whereas Evan often is forced to look utterly insane. However, he does convince Joan (after she and the boys leave Evan) to go back to him, and spend more time with him to build the Ark. In the end, after the flood happens, and Evan's Ark manages to save countless lives, it seems that in the end those who thought Evan was crazy were probably kicking themselves for doubting him.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one at the congress meeting seems the least bit surprised when Evan stands up and his suit magically teleports off of him and onto his desk folded up and he's suddenly wearing Biblical robes. No gasps, no jumps, nothing.
  • Wafer Thin Mint: One could argue that the brief rain storm that came and went was the tipping point for the shoddily built dam to break and cause a flood.
  • Weirdness Censor: The only way to explain the way people keep dismissing the strange things going on around and with Evan, especially when dealing with hordes of animals suddenly appearing multiple times.