Bruce AlmightyMay 23, 2003
A guy who complains about God too often is given almighty powers to teach him how difficult it is to run the world.
Release Year: 2003
Rating: 6.6/10 (134,325 voted)
Critic's Score: 46/100
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman
Bruce Nolan, a television reporter in Buffalo, N.Y., is discontented with almost everything in life despite his popularity and the love of his girlfriend Grace . At the end of the worst day of his life, Bruce angrily ridicules and rages against God and God responds. God appears in human form and, endowing Bruce with divine powers, challenges Bruce to take on the big job to see if he can do it any better.
Writers: Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe
Philip Baker Hall
Lisa Ann Walter
(as Steven Carell)
Timothy Di Pri
(as Timothy DiPri)
In Bruce We Trust?
Universal Pictures (us) |
Release Date: 23 May 2003
Filming Locations: New York City, New York, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $85,734,045
(26 May 2003)
Did You Know?
Instead of having the unused 555 prefix, a phone number used by Morgan Freeman's character was an actual phone number in many US area codes, causing owners of that phone number to be bombarded with calls. For the video release this number was changed to 555-0123. The phone number used by Bruce-God later in the film, was used by a radio station in Colorado and a woman in Florida, both of whom were deluged with calls wanting to talk with God. The producers then bought these two numbers and stopped the problems.
After the meeting, in the hallway outside of Jack's office, when Bruce is saying to Jack "I'm starting to get desperate man", his hands "jump" from open to close position between the cut scene.
God, why do you hate me?
Wait, you mean all I have to do is become God to solve all my problems? Why didn't I think of that before???
Jim Carrey is back to much the same role that he played in The Mask, a
guy who is trying to get ahead in the world but who seems to be plagued
bad luck. Even when he tries to help a homeless guy from being harassed by
bunch of hoodlums (and of course they have to be Mexican, obviously), his
good will towards his fellow man backfires. In that case, it wasn't too
to predict that he was about to have a handful of angry hoodlums, but I
that the movie suggests that things like that shouldn't be ignored. I'm
reminded of the episode of Michael Moore's brilliant The Awful Truth, when
they had a man lay down on the sidewalk and pretend to be dead and see who
would actually stop and make sure he was okay. The results were not very
promising, so it's nice to see someone in the movies setting a good
Jim Carrey plays the part of Bruce Nolan, the nice guy mentioned above
entire life seems to be falling apart. Or even better, it seems to be
breaking up by the blows of bad luck like an asteroid entering the
atmosphere (a little metaphor that comes up when Bruce miraculously finds
himself a gigantic news story later in the film). Bruce is nearly 40 years
old and all he has to show for it is a position as a news reporter of the
sort that reports on such exciting news as the local bakery that's seeking
to bake the world's biggest cookie. He's desperate to obtain the job of
anchor at the TV station, but he loses his cool on live TV when he hears
that the job went to his rival colleague. You have to love how they time
revelation of this news to him seconds before his first live report.
Needless to say, he loses his temper on live TV in one of the funniest
scenes of the entire film.
Morgan Freeman delivers a fantastic performance as the Man himself,
displaying a God whose infinite wisdom is somewhat reflected through
Freeman's massive talent as an actor. He is the kind of God who takes his
job very seriously, but in such a way as to advise his followers (as well
the viewers of this movie) that there are times when you need to slow down
and do some manual labor in life. I love his line that some of the
people in the world come home smelling to high heaven at the end of the
There are a lot of people in the world (maybe more than our share in
America) who are so absorbed by their money and their possessions and
jobs and everything that they completely lost touch with the natural side
themselves as humans.
One of the biggest strengths is that the movie is able to provide great
advice to people in general about improving their lives, and this message
clear and acceptable regardless of the viewer's religion. I, for example,
tend to reject organized religion in all forms and I see God and Satan to
metaphors for different aspects of nature and human psychology rather than
actual figures who ever lived or continue to live. But despite the fact
I don't believe that God exists as an entity overseeing the universe or as
janitor dressed all in white who mops the floors of his downtown office in
his spare time, I was able to appreciate the messages that were delivered
Jim Carrey's movies display this fantastic evolution that ties them all
together and makes the newer ones look even better just because you can
how far he's come. If you compare Bruce Almighty with movies like Ace
Ventura (both of which I loved, by the way) or a lot of what he did before
he got into film, it's amazing how far he's come. He has moved from cheesy
TV comedy to cheesy comedic films to comedies that are truly intelligent
meaningful like this film as well as others like The Truman Show, Man on
Moon, and The Majestic (easily one of his greatest films ever). Jim Carrey
has unmistakably moved from the cheesy comedy of his past to become one of
the most important comic actors working today.
Jennifer Aniston also once again provides an excellent addition to the
(as she did in the side-splitting Office Space) as Bruce's girlfriend, who
becomes increasingly exasperated by Bruce's growing stress about his life
well as his negligence to ask her to marry him. There is definitely some
low-brow comedy in the film that doesn't really fit with the importance of
the film's meaning or the quality of the delivery, such as the dog reading
the newspaper on the toilet and the whole monkey scene, but it was
definitely pretty nice to see Ace Ventura's friend Spike make a cameo
appearance. As Stephen King very well knows, it's always nice to see
familiar characters. It's almost like seeing family again.
Bruce is endowed with the powers of God for a given period of time so that
he can understand life a bit better, and he says a lot about himself when
uses the powers only for his own purposes rather than to help all of the
people who pray to him. The thing I love about this is that, like I said
before, religion is absent from my life, but I was able to watch this and
learn a lot about myself as well by thinking about what kinds of things I
would have done had I been endowed with such powers. The movie allows us
learn vicariously this way, which empowers the message even more.
The scenes that involve the news station are easily the funniest in the
entire film, such as the scene when Bruce loses his temper about the
position, the Jimmy Hoffa scene (who was conveniently buried with an
original birth certificate and a complete set of dental records), the
where Bruce's rival colleague is made to go nuts on camera, and my
favorites, the ones at the beginning and the end involving the local
bakery's cooking. The movie has plenty of time for Carrey to deliver some
excellent jokes, such as when he says to God (who reveals that he's the
janitor, the proprietor, the electrician, etc) that his Christmas parties
must be real bashes, and to be careful about drinking, because on of him
might need a ride home! I also loved the end when he says that behind
great man is a woman rolling her eyes. A little too true, and as Gallagher
would add, behind every great man is also an amazed mother-in-law.
Bruce Almighty is one of the more memorable comedies to have come out for
quite a while, and is probably the only directly religious that I can
remember seeing that I am anxious to buy on DVD to add to my personal
collection. It is a comedy written and performed in good taste, but with
enough relatively low-brow humor to keep the kids entertained. This is a
meaningful comedy for the whole family, which is becoming rarer and rarer
these days. In a world that is about to be flogged with yet another
Pie film AND another Scary Movie (which are only scary because of their
sheer barbarous idiocy), it's nice to see that there are still people
comedies worth watching. Don't miss this one.