|Evan Almighty is a 2007 American religious comedy film and the stand-alone sequel to Bruce Almighty (2003). The film was directed by Tom Shadyac, written by Steve Oedekerk, and starring Steve Carell as the title character. Morgan Freeman also reprised his role as God from the original film. Production of the film began in January 2006. Several visual effect companies were used to provide CGI for the numerous animals and climactic flood scene. Shadyac ensured the production had a positive environmental impact during principal photography, and, along with Universal Pictures, stressed the animals’ conditions were acceptable despite PETA objections.
By the time the film premiered on June 10, 2007, it had become the most expensive film comedy ever. The film grossed less than $174 million worldwide, making it a financial loss, and it received generally negative reviews. In October 2007, the film was released on DVD and HD DVD.
Newly elected to Congress, former local television news reporter Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) leaves his hometown of Buffalo, New York and moves to suburban northern Virginia, where his campaign promise to “change the world” is ridiculed by some, but Evan remains optimistic about his new position. On the first day on his job, Evan is given a spacious office and is invited to co-sponsor a bill with top congressman Chuck Long (John Goodman), something rare for a first-timer. His family is happy, but due to the change in their situation to the move of Evan’s wife Joan (Lauren Graham) prays that her family will have a greater sense of togetherness.
Everything seems to be going well for Evan. Soon after Evan’s arrival to Congress, however, strange things start to happen in his household: his alarm clock repeatedly goes off at 6:14 AM despite being set for a different time every night; large quantities of ancient tools and wood are delivered to his house daily without explanation; animals follow Evan without any apparent reason (with birds even getting into his office); he grows a beard that magically grows itself back no matter how many times he shaves; eight vacant lots in Evan’s neighborhood are purchased in his name; a mysterious company named GO-4-WOOD delivers a shipment of lumber that Evan clearly did not order; and the number 614 follows him everywhere.
Evan soon learns that the number refers to the verse in the Book of Genesis, where God (Morgan Freeman) instructs Noah to build an Ark in preparation for a flood. God shows Himself to Evan, cordially insisting that Evan should build an Ark as well. Although Evan resists, God follows him using different guises and eventually convinces Evan to build this Ark. Joan, concerned about his behaviour, believes that Evan is having a mid-life crisis. Without the support of Joan, Evan enlists his three sons (Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, and Jimmy Bennett) to assist him in the construction of the Ark. Reappearing, God tells Evan the flood will come at midday on September 22.
The fully constructed ark is at the center of the image with a downcast sky. A large ramp on the left side of the image is leading up into the ark. In the foreground of the image is a paved street.
Animals continue to follow Evan around, getting increasingly annoying as time passes. At first, Long is unimpressed, and allows this behavior to occur, but warns Evan that he does not want any more animal surprises. Unfortunately for Evan, the animals follow him to Congress numerous times despite his efforts to detain them. This compels Evan to confess to Long, other Congressmen in the room, and the television cameras broadcasting the meeting that the reason for the animals, strange behaviour, robe, and beard is because of God and Evan’s mission to build the Ark. Humiliating both Congress and the bill that Long is attempting to pass, Evan is temporarily suspended from Congress and removed from the bill. Joan becomes upset on Evan’s behaviour, and leaves Evan because she believes he is insane. Evan does not let this stop himself and continues building the Ark alone, gaining international notice and public ridicule. Meanwhile, God appears to Joan, disguised as a waiter at a diner with the name “Al Mighty”. In this guise, God tells Joan that He believes Himself and does not give things, but only the opportunity by which to obtain things, and gives an example of family togetherness. Having a revelation, Joan returns to Evan with newfound faith to finish the Ark together. Meanwhile, word reaches Evan that Long has commissioned a dam and has cut corners in doing so.
On September 22, Evan loads hundreds of animals onto the newly finished Ark in front of hundreds of spectators and live news crews. He invites the crowd to join them, but is made fun of. However, the police arrive on the scene with a wrecking ball and attempt to destroy the Ark because of its violation of numerous building codes. Noon arrives, and minutes pass with no sign of rain, provoking spectator scorn. A short downburst of rain does come, but it is short-lived. Joan asks Evan to leave the Ark, explaining that he has built it and succeeded in his mission; but at this moment, Evan sees Long’s dam burst from the distance. With the water from the dam rushing towards them, all of the spectators immediately seek refuge in the Ark, which rides the flood through the streets of Washington, D.C.. The Ark eventually reaches its final destination in front of the Capitol, where other Congressmen are greeted by the Ark crashing into the side of the structure. Long, who is outraged that the flood did really happen, is told by Evan that the flood was caused by his defective dam, but Long cannot believe this, and says that he was told already that this could not happen again. Those events entice Evan and other Congressmen to turn against Long. Later, Evan and his family celebrate the events by going on a hiking trip together, where God reappears and tells Evan that the way to change the world is by doing one Act of Random Kindness (ARK) at a time. The film ends when Evan and God do a happy dance together before God disappears, leaving Evan and his family behind.