By CR Staff
(CR) – With the debut of “Evan Almighty” as the number one movie over the weekend, Christian critics have high praise for this sequel to “Bruce Almighty.” According to Nikki Rocco, head of distribution at Universal, unlike its predecessor, “Evan Almighty” was aimed at a family crowd, which could give the film a longer shelf life.
“Family films have an incredible ability to just play and play,” Rocco said. “I’m very optimistic about it playing out over the course of the summer.” The Christian critics tend to agree to a point.
The film presents timeless Biblical themes in an updated and humorous way that is satisfying to Christian and Jewish viewers, according to Christian reviewers. “Evan Almighty” gives faith a prominent place, although inside jokes and attempts to bring Genesis to life may be lost on audiences without a Christian or Jewish background.
Craig Detweiler, director of Reel Spirituality, an institute at Fuller Seminary that explores faith and film, said “Evan Almighty” presents the biblical story in a way relevant to today’s believers.
“Evan eventually has to learn to tune his ear to God’s frequency, despite the public … jeers that may accompany it,” Detweiler said. “That’s a timely story for people in their workplaces, for students in their school, for … moms on the soccer fields.”
Marti Steussy, professor of biblical interpretation at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, said of the movie, “I think of biblical stories as vines that grow through time. They have roots, and this vine has roots … deep down in the history of the ancient Near East. It continues to grow and get retold … and obviously, somebody now is still finding it a story worth retelling.”