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Evan Almighty

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God hates sprawl. That may be one of the embedded messages in Tom Shadyac's religious comedy, a sequel to 2003's Bruce Almighty. Freshman Congressman Evan Baxter (Steve Carrell) is visited by God (Morgan Freeman) and instructed to build an ark. After much comedic backsliding, Baxter erects a massive boat, right in his suburban development. (Take that, home-owner association!) Animals come two by two, God is pleased, and lo, he sends a massive wave of water to take out acres of tacky Northern Virginia McMansions. If only -- but this is an otherwise fairly amusing family comedy. Carrell is winning as the hapless latter-day Noah, and Freeman sports the twinkly bemused authority we hope the Big Guy employs. Somebody booked too many digitally composed animals, but the kids at the screening loved all the silly monkeys and birds, even if they looked pasted on. Starts Fri., June 22. (AH)

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