Bruce AlmightyAs far as blasphemous movies go, it doesn't get much funnier than Bruce Almighty, the message-free version of modern deux ex machina showcasing the comedic talent of Jim Carrey.

Hollywood has a long history of personifying the almighty. Who could forget George Burns' doddering deity? Or Mel Blanc, Tim Curry, or certainly Alanis Morissette? Now you can add Morgan Freeman. He's got a sense of humor -- it's a comedy after all -- as well as such a cavalier disregard for the universe he created that he decides to give all his powers to an unemployed T.V. reporter named Bruce Nolan (Carrey). Comedy ensues.

Bruce doesn't use his infinite powers to answer ANY of life's mysteries or solve mankind's eternal conflicts. Instead, he gives himself a new sports car, a new job, an expanded chest for his already hot girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) and career advancement over the bodies of his destroyed peers. If it sounds a little like self-indulgent narcissism with no negative consequences, I think three year olds the world over would agree. The "good news" this time around, apparently, is to increase your consumer spending.

It starts when Nolan is fired and not at all having a good day, and bizarrely begins criticizing god's management of the world and his life. Through a series of odd incidents, the almighty eventually invites Nolan to a all but deserted building, where he does some magic tricks and offers him (Nolan) the god job. Over time, the disbelieving reporter begins to accept that he has virtually unlimited power over time and matter but not over "love." This is quickly exploited by his girlfriend (Aniston) who -- despite the fact that her boyfriend has unlimited, universal power -- busts him for kissing another woman.

Nevertheless, Nolan's career explodes as he wields absolute power to become a much more effective local T.V. reporter that just happens to be "on the scene" of such spectacular news events as a meteor smashing into earth and Jimmy Hoffa's body being discovered. You can imagine god would do the same thing, provided he wanted to break into the glamorous world of local news reporting.

This is no "Paradise Lost," but Carrey keeps the energy high and Aniston gives an admirable supporting performance. However it must be said that Freeman is an *extremely* disturbing God. In fairness, unlike the figure he's playing, Freeman wasn't given much to work with in Bruce Almighty. The idea that "god takes a holiday" and hands the universe over to a random self-centered dope is a pretty scary idea.

But it would explain a lot wouldn't it?


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