Aliens are taking over the Earth, and it is up to a couple of greedy community college professors (David Duchovny and Orlando Jones) to save everyone. That's the plot of Ivan Reitman's latest movie Evolution, a movie that shows that Reitman's best work is still, by far, Ghostbusters.
Evolution has a lot going for it, considering that it has a good cast (Julianne Moore is also a major player, not to mention Seann William Scott, who has had great comedic timing in American Pie, Road Trip, and Dude, Where's My Car?... Well, we won't count that last one. It also has a theme with resemblance to this 'small' hit called Men in Black, and entire "The X-Files" audience waiting to see Duchovny back taking on aliens.
Unfortunately, Evolution doesn't live up to its end in any respect. While it is modestly entertaining most of the time and never really boring, it never flares up like a movie easily can when involving aliens. The comedy definitely never gets going, as the jokes in Evolution are about as stale as they get. There are some pretty funny parts, I do admit, which is why I don't hate this movie, but I was expecting a lot more comedy than there was. Actually, the really pathetic part is that the movie thinks it is being funnier than it really is. Many times Duchovny, or more especially Jones, makes some wise-cracking joke, only to be responded by silence from the audience. It just isn't that funny.
Of course, most of the movie's problems can be blamed on the script. The actors don't really have any chemistry (I did not see sparks flying between Duchovny and Moore, yet the movie thinks there is) but a lot of that is in part due to a pretty bad script, where the actors exchange lines and jokes as if they are in junior high, when they are actually college professors. Duchovny especially acts dumb, since he once worked for the government and now he resorts to dressing up as a Colonel to sneak onto military bases.
Seann William Scott has about the same character he has had in all his other films, but this time he seems out of his league. Compared to big names like David Duchovny and Julianne Moore, his dumb, whiny voice seems to be at the lowest lovel possible.
The plot of Evolution is reasonable, and the little alien creatures that form are pretty entertaining, but, as in everything else, the movie does not use anything to its full potential. Every single animal is mean and nasty in a very primitive way, which means that these creatures aren't acting very rationally. That also means that when the stars of the movie blow them to bits with machine guns, I feel more for the aliens getting killed then the slight possibility that one of the stars could get gobbled up. Also, where in Men in Black at least some of the aliens were used for real comic entertainment, Evolution hardly has any of that.
Some of the funniest scenes are shown in the previews, and half the scenes in the previews are not shown in the movie. Evolution isn't a horrible movie, but in a market where it's survival of the fittest, Evolution is going to be one of the first to fade away.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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