Evolution

"Weak"

Evolution Review


Director Ivan Reitman goes rummaging around in his "Ghostbusters" bag of tricks to give his new comedy "Evolution" all the trappings of a major laugh fest -- but the one thing he forgot was the major laughs.

Until the picture hits a slight stride about half way through, its few weak snickers come mostly from knowing winks at the intentional irony of David Duchovny starring in what is, for all practical purposes, a spoof of "The X-Files."

Duchovny and Orlando Jones ("Say It Isn't So," "Double Take") star as quack professors at an Arizona community college who discover living microbes on a meteor that crashes to Earth near their campus. Flush with scientific exhilaration, they soon realize these lifeforms are evolving at an exponential rate. In a day they've become multi-celled organisms. Hours later they're extraterrestrial worms. By the time the military inevitably shows up to take control and kick the professors off their own project, full-blown insects and reptilian critters have appeared.

Well, I think we all know where this is going. But predictability isn't the problem. Nor is the fact that the plot seems like little more than a rejiggered "Ghostbusters" -- right down to the sexy student flirting for extra credit in one professor's introductory scene and the goop-doused finale, in which unconventional science saves the day after an government surrogate makes things much worse with his arrogant ineptitude.

The problem is that the movie's multiplying, overly-F/X-y CGI beasts show more signs of life than the script or the actors.

Duchovny, Jones, and the former art flick habitue Julianne Moore (who plays a Center for Disease Control researcher) seem to be having fun on the set, yet their performances are sadly listless. Reitman seems to have left them to their own devices except when lobbing comedic nothings. He practically pauses for rim-shots after duds like Jones expressing surprise by hollering "Great googa mooga!"

He does the same thing for clumsy running gags (Moore trips and falls a lot) and lame wisecracks as well. "This looks like the kitchen from my first apartment," Jones says when entering the soupy, primordial jungle that has cropped up around the meteor only a couple days after its discovery. If this movie was a Vaudeville act, it would get the hook in its first 20 minutes.

As a result, "Evolution" hardly evolves at all. The action and the energy level pick up a bit once the military decides to napalm the network of underground caves where the now full-formed aliens are breeding (over the nonspecific objections of Duchovny, Jones and Moore, who then have to save the day). But until then the movie is little more than a patchwork of random scenes in suburbs, country clubs and malls in which various critters attack, followed by our heroes arriving to analyze the situation. Aside from the occasional one-liner, that's about all they do.

If it's "Alienbusters" you're looking for, look to "Men In Black" instead, because when it comes to survival of the fittest in the arena of extraterrestrial pest control comedies, "Evolution" will go the way of the dodo after a short life of being kicked around by this summer's bigger hits.



Evolution

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th June 2001

Box Office USA: $37.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $98.4M

Budget: $80M

Distributed by: Dreamworks Pictures

Production compaines: Montecito Picture Company, The, DreamWorks Pictures, Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 57 Rotten: 77

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dr. Ira Kane, as Dr. Allison Reed, CDC, as Prof. Harry Phineas Block, as Wayne Grey, as General Russell Woodman, as Governor Lewis, as Colonel Flemming, Andrew Bowen as Road Worker, as Denise, as Nadine, Stephanie Hodge as Jill Mason

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.