That the most expensive comedy ever made should be a sequel to a disposable Jim Carrey timewaster, with Carrey not even featuring in the cast, suggests an error of biblical proportions in the judgement of Universal executives who pumped a reputed $175 million into returning director Tom Shadyac’s original one-joke Saturday Night Live-style skit about humble congressman Evan (Steve Carell), visited by God (a painfully smug Morgan Freeman), and told to build an ark.
With animals lining up two by two, Evan is forced to question his maker’s mysterious ways during his conversion from straight-laced suit to mystic sage before the lavish CGI-driven resolution confirms the nature of his spiritual quest and wins him the support of his vapid family. By reworking God’s wrath as an ‘Act of Random Kindness’ (ARK, geddit?) Steve Patch Adams Oedekerk’s script leaves Carell’s tired funnyman-schtick high and dry in an unashamed attempt to pitch comedy to the notoriously humourless bible belt regions of America. The out-takes provided in the end-credits suggest that ten minutes on set with Carell would be funnier than 90 spent watching this tepid retread of Field of Dreams played as religious farce. (Eddie Harrison)
General release from Fri 3 Aug.