When I first read about Evolution, the latest sci-fi scheme to come from
DreamWorks, I was interested. A story about aliens with humor, not bad.
Then when I read that Ivan Reitman, the BEST comedic director of the 80's
and one of the best of all time was at the helm, I was thrilled. I mean,
come on, after he was given duds like `Father's Day' and `Six Days, Seven
Nights' to work with, isn't it about time that Hollywood gave him a project
worth while (I won't even mention the bombastic disaster of `Junior'
It begins with the introduction of Scott's character, Wayne Green, a wannabe
fireman practicing for his fireman final (questionable at first, hilarious
in the end). Then he gets an unexpected visitor - a meteor, carrying alien
organisms hits the heart of the Arizona desert. After a community college
science professor, Ira Kane Duchovny, working with one screwed up screen
name)and his eccentric geologist buddy, Harry Block (Jones) discover the
meteor, they find that the `bleeding' rock starts to create these weird
alien creatures and soon they begin to multiply. Kane's nemeses, Gen.
Woodman (Levine) and the military get involved, things get too
out-of-control, so it's up to the teaming of Kane, Block, Green and
government scientist Allison Reed (Moore) to stop the evolution.
If you're a Reitman fan, the plot of this could make you go in expecting
some kind of tribute to both `Ghostbusters'. In a way it is, and is that a
bad thing? Hell no! If you liked, or even loved (like me) `Ghostbusters',
I can bet my clean pair of boxers that you'll get a hoot out of `Evolution'.
But of course any film must maintain some distance from the films its being
compared too, and `Evolution' does that. The characters and situations are
different, atmospherically. Duchovny turns in a `cool' performance, by that
meaning he wasn't Mr. Badass or Mr. Laugh-a-Minute, he was just, well,
Duchovny and that itself is always pleasing to watch. Jones is his usual
funny self, delivering some funny lines. Moore's ability to do just about
anything comes in handy here, playing the hottie-yet-clumsy love interest.
Scott's acting resembles the other roles he's done in the past, and I've
come to appreciate that (that thing he does w/ his eyebrow is getting
funnier every time). Can't say the same for Levine; his cliché performance
as the bad-guy-who-doesn't-listen character gets annoying fast.
A lot of the film makes me question what it is, and really what it could
have been. The script, penned by three writers, was originally written as a
sci-fi THRILLER, not a sci-fi comedy. There were a lot of laughs, but
because of the script's origin, there could have been more. But considering
the script was originally a sci-fi thriller, the filmmakers, including
Reitman, did a great job. Can't say much for the ending, though: the ending
looks and feels like a meshed-up result of what-could-have-been, and from
that mushiness, the filmmakers poked at and took at least some of the good
elements. Thank god the film is a comedy; if it was its original idea, the
ending would have been disastrous.
`Evolution' is a overall crowd-pleaser with nice special effects and makeup
(those dead aliens looked great). It's a few laughs and comedic situations
short of comedic greatness, but look on the bright side-Reitman is back in
his lovable kick-ass form. He's tapped into the present and how most
comedies are made, but he didn't dare forget his roots: there is a sequence
in the film where Duchovny, Jones and Scott chase down a flying creature in
a mall. The three, equipped with shotguns, dispose of it in true
Ghostbusters style. And with me being a big Ghostbusters fan, I fell in
love with the it, plus its the best scene in the film. (The trio singing
after their battle; nice touch).