"Bruce Almighty" sequel breaks all commandments.
And lo, it came to pass that "Bruce Almighty" begat "Evan Almighty." And Steve Carell starred as a modern Noah, gathering unto him his wife and kids and two of every animal to save them from the flood that was promised from on high.
And the great lawgiver saw the flick and was sore displeased, and a little bored, too. And he said unto the creators: Here are my precepts. Study them well and defy them not or the world will smite thee with scorn and insults.
I If thou must maketh a comedy sequel, put various surprises in it and much levity and a multitude of yuks. Work not the same jest twice, but go on to the next jest.
II Dressing thy star in vestments of outrageous design and a wig maketh not a joke.
III The droppings of birds and beasts and of all other living creatures shall not be used in place of high jinks and zaniness. Poop humor is an abomination unto mankind's eyes.
IV Adult actors shalt not work with kids and animals, for as surely as the wind blows they will upstage the grownups, and the audience will be moved to pity.
V If thy budget be $175 million, squander it not all on CGI yaks and gnus. Apportion a goodly sum to the script, and give unto the actors gags, each according to their need. Thereby grant thy hip and witty star a funnier sequence than a montage of mallet-to-thumb ark carpentry mishaps.
VI Thou shalt not harken back to the star's breakthrough hit with a forced reference to "The Forty Year Old Virgin Mary." Slothful writing grieves the heart.
VII "Ark Building for Dummies"? See above.
VIII Ditto Morgan Freeman as God, pledging allegiance to "one nation under Me."
IX If thou employest John Goodman to play the antagonist, thou shalt include a scene in which he delivers his dialogue while wagging a chicken drumstick for emphasis. Because he is so funny when he does that.
X Thou shalt not accept projects beneath thy talents, no matter how many pieces of silver thou art offered. I'm looking at thee, Carell. In the fullness of time, the audience will see thy wisdom and rejoice.
One out of four stars