Directed by Ivan Reitman
Starring: David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, and for sci-fi action.

Review by Evelyn Gildrie-Voyles <evy@filmhead.com>
June 12, 2001

It's summer. Time to leave your intelligence behind and head out for a matinee movie and just have a thoughtless, pointless, socially non-redeeming good time. Evolution is a good choice for such matinee mindlessness -- it's worth about $4 to $6. Full evening price might be pushing it; unless you are dying to see David Duchovny's bare, glass-covered butt, or have never seen a comic-sci-fi-doofusses-save-the-world flick before.

In Evolution, two marginally competent community college professors discover an alien substance, which evolves at a staggering rate. This discovery is co-opted by the military, who of course underestimate its danger and endanger the world by their arrogance. The professors and their band of acquaintances, including a plucky if clumsy female scientist, must save the day. If you've seen Galaxy Quest, Ghostbusters I or II, My Stepmother Is an Alien or similar films you really aren't in for any major surprises; all though they do defeat the alien menace in an entertaining manner.

The humor, tone, and acting styles are also familiar. This is hardly surprising since director Ivan Reitman also directed the Ghostbusters movies. The movie still manages to be a good time, even if it is formulaic and predictable. Reitman knows how to direct comedies and he has a light style that lets the characters take themselves seriously even if the movie doesn't. David Duchovny and Orlando Jones make a good pair. Duchovny is an excellent straight man and Jones has a face as expressive as Jim Carrey's without stretching into the absurd. Julianne Moore handles the physical comedy well, as does Seann William Scott. Despite the strong performances of the main cast, the highpoint of the film is Dan Aykroyd's appearance as the governor of Arizona. He delivers deadpan lines with faultless precision. Duchovny and Jones may be good but Aykroyd is one of the originals and he can still shake his comic booty better than most.

So if you are looking for escape and not much else, take an afternoon, buy the sugar/caffeine product of your choice and enjoy the sensation of your brain melting under the sheer pointless fun of Evolution. Just don't waste an evening and pay full price -- that might create resentment.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Evolution (2001)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Evolution (2001) -- VHS
Evolution (2001) -- DVD
Evolution: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc

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