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Section Header
Evan Almighty
(2007)
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
John Debney

Orchestrated by:
Brad Dechter
Frank Bennett
Mike Watts
Andrew Kinney
Kevin Kaska
Don Nemitz

Label:
Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
June 19th, 2007

Also See:
Bruce Almighty
Dreamer
Apollo 13
The Abyss

Audio Clips:
1. The Ark Theme (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

3. God's Theme (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

9. God Crane Arrives (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

16. Acts of Random Kindness (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release.

Awards:
  None.









Evan Almighty
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Buy it... if you can forgive the temp-track following tendencies of John Debney and enjoy his massive religious overtones without analyzing their origins.

Avoid it... if Debney's more procedural scores, favoring predictability over creativity, don't provide enough entertainment on their own merits.



Debney
Evan Almighty: (John Debney) Despite its immense budget for a comedy film, Bruce Almighty managed to return even more immense money in 2003. The stakes were higher for the 2007 sequel, Evan Almighty, with an even higher budget despite the absence of Jim Carrey in the title role. Expanded from a bit role in the first film into the lead, Steve Carell is approached by God (Morgan Freeman, once again) and told to become the biblical character of Noah and build a real-life Ark by a certain date. The gags in the film accompany supporting characters' reactions to Carell's antics and, without Carrey's obnoxious personality in the mix, Evan Almighty managed to take itself just a bit too seriously to be effective. The film only grossed $100 million, a substantial loss for Universal, and critics easily exposed many of the film's faults. Director Tom Shadyac and screenwriter Steve Oedekerk returned for the sequel, and their inability to decide whether Evan Almighty should receive serious consideration as a drama (to some extent) hurt the film in several ways, from the cheesy special effects to the conflicted underscore by John Debney. The composer's score for Bruce Almighty was a typical lightweight affair for Debney, overshadowed by the songs licensed for use in the film. It was the usual kind of fluff that Debney has provided for dumb comedies since the late 1990's, neither demanding nor trailblazing. For Evan Almighty, Debney was obviously caught in the same dilemma as Shadyac and Oedekerk regarding the level of serious intent for the film. It would turn into a temp-track re-write project for Debney, and given the two primary sources of inspiration to which he would make a musical nod, it's clear that the filmmakers were deliberately attempting to use the music to provide the film with a more straight-forward, dramatic tilt. The inevitably capable, but still transparent job that Debney did with those requests makes Evan Almighty, at the very least, a more interesting listening experience than its predecessor. But like Debney's score for Dreamer a few years before, if you're bothered by Debney's incorporation of the temp-track into a new score, then Evan Almighty will likely bother you to the same degree, if not more.

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The two primary temp-track sources for Debney define the score's two major themes. First, for the theme of the Ark, a strong dose of Alan Silvestri's dramatic structures are heard, and most fans will likely choose The Abyss as the easiest reference point. The theme is overly melodramatic in the expected religious sense, holding the fort in the opening suite arrangement and the climactic "The Flood" cue. Even more transparent is the adaptation of James Horner's Apollo 13 for "God's Theme." Debney doesn't make much of an attempt to hide this source given a repetition of one of Horner's motifs from Apollo 13 over and over again, as well as the use of female vocals to convey a sense of other-worldliness. While these gospel vocals are a far cry from Annie Lennox's, the connections are unmistakable. Debney does provide some unique material for Evan Almighty, though none of it is particularly memorable. A piano-led theme for Evan himself is an elegant nightclub style of easy-listening piece that sounds a bit out of place. This theme would share some phrases with "God's Theme," once again reminding of Horner's work. A secondary theme that really doesn't seem to have a home is actually the score's highlight despite its extremely brief appearances. Perhaps the greatest irony of Evan Almighty is that this theme crosses the paths of both Silvestri and Horner at once, sharing an identity with Silvestri's character theme from Night at the Museum and Horner's hip guitar theme from Field of Dreams. Here, it can only be heard for a half a minute at the start of both "Baxter's to Bed" and "God Crane Arrives." There are parody cues sprinkled throughout Evan Almighty, and they are as effective as any stock material from Debney's own career. Never do those parody elements become irritating, outside of perhaps the faux-classical style of "Grooming Montage." If you can forgive the temp-track similarities, then the massive religious music, extending through "Acts of Random Kindness" at the end, are a fun listening experience. In fact, there's nothing offensive about a single minute of music in Evan Almighty. It simply lacks the intelligence and creativity that Debney is capable of producing and, in the end, melts away into his lengthy career. ***   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For John Debney reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.23 (in 49 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.97 (in 43,317 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 3.01 Stars
Smart Average: 3.04 Stars*
***** 29 
**** 45 
*** 53 
** 35 
* 33 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Apologize to God
  J.Palmer -- 9/23/11 (8:50 p.m.)
   Trombone Correction
  N.R. -- 5/7/08 (7:22 a.m.)
   Trombone Correction *NM*
  N.R. -- 5/7/08 (7:21 a.m.)
   Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)
  N.R. -- 5/7/08 (7:16 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  




 Track Listings: Total Time: 48:49


• 1. The Ark Theme (1:44)
• 2. Baxter's to Bed (1:23)
• 3. God's Theme (3:11)
• 4. Grooming Montage (1:01)
• 5. Genesis 6:14 (5:20)
• 6. Evan's Theme (2:03)
• 7. Evan Runs from Capitol (1:26)
• 8. God's Valley (2:02)
• 9. God Crane Arrives (1:06)
• 10. Congressional Animals (3:17)
• 11. I'm Noah (4:48)
• 12. Evan and God (2:19)
• 13. Hummer Ride (3:33)
• 14. Take It Down (4:02)
• 15. The Flood (6:56)
• 16. Acts of Random Kindness (4:47)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes a list of performers, but no extra information about the score or film.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Evan Almighty are Copyright © 2007, Varèse Sarabande. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/1/07 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2007-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.