Bruce Almighty (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

In The Player, the Tim Robbins character described most movies with a hybrid formula. "So, it's knd of a Casablanca meets Francis the Talking Mule ....?"

That works perfectly here. This film is a formulaic hybrid.

It's The Mask meets Groundhog Day.

  • The Mask. A meek, long-suffering bank clerk finds an ancient mask which gives him the power of the god Loki. At first he uses the powers to get money and revenge, and to pick up chicks, but he eventually finds that he can be happier as himself than as the god of mischief.

  • Groundhog Day. A frustrated, bitter local reporter achieves a painful immortality when forced to re-live a single day again and again. This gives him god-like powers, because he can remember everything he learned on his previous trips through the day, and can use that knowledge to manipulate people. At first, he uses his powers childishly and selfishly, but eventually he reconciles with his fate and learns to make his one day a beautiful one by doing selfless things.

  • Bruce Almighty. A frustrated, bitter, meek, long-suffering local reporter is given all of God's powers over the area covered by Buffalo, New York. At first, he uses his powers childishly and selfishly, but eventually he comes to realize what a self-centered person he has become, and does selfless things.

IMDb viewers rate Bruce exactly the same as The Mask, which somehow seems to validate the IMDb system, since it's pretty much the same freakin' movie.

Bruce Almighty re-unites the director/star team of Tom Shadyac and Jim Carrey, who created Ace Ventura and Liar, Liar together. Bruce Almighty might easily have been called "All-l-l-l-mighty, then".

These two guys definitely have the gift for laughs. Carrey knows how to do it, and Shadyac knows that he knows, and therefore lets Jim do his thing. Like many people, I found the humor excellent and the sentimentality cloying. Carrey has no gift for subtlety at either. His unsubtle humor is easy to forgive because he's original, and he brings such youthful energy and passion and complete abandon to his clowning, but his unsubtle, mawkish sentimentality can sometimes be a high price to pay for the laughs he delivers. He sometimes veers off the comedy highway and onto Robin Williams Lane.


None. Nice cleavage from Catherine Bell.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Commentary by director Tom Shadyac

  • The Process of Jim

  • Outtakes

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85

Mr. Shadyac is not one to keep the treacle under control. I need only remind people that when Shadyac was not busy working with Jim Carrey, he also directed Patch Adams.

At its worst, Bruce Almighty has Patch Adams moments, but when Jim is being funny, he can be very funny indeed, and everyday movie goers really respond to his blend of wild humor and "sweet guy" persona. Critical reception was lukewarm, but the people loved it. It was a box office smash around the globe (including the #4 spot for the year in the USA as I write this), and is rated B+ by the voters at Yahoo.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 3/4, Berardinelli 1.5/4, BBC 3/5

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.4/10, Yahoo voters score it a B+.
  • Box Office Mojo. It was budgeted at $81 million for production, and the distribution/advertising costs are estimated around $30 million. It was a monumental success, grossing $242 million in the USA, and another $232 million overseas.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. A sentimental comedy of redemption. Good comedy, crappy redemption.

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