Movie Reviews: Evolution




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Studio: Dreamworks (1 hr. 43 min.)
     An odd team comes together to investigate a meteor that collided with the earth.
     David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott
Bottom Line:


If you’re a sci-fi fan believing that little green men from Mars will colonize the Earth — forget about it.

According to director Ivan Reitman’s latest creature-feature comedy Evolution, a special-effects laden farce, huge marauding insects are going to devour mankind.

In an anti-X-Files role, David Duchovny plays Ira Kane, a discredited community college science professor whose promising career was derailed after he invents an anthrax vaccine which causes rather severe flatulence and paralysis.

Kane and his colleague, geology professor Harry Block (Orlando Jones) discover a meteor loaded with micro-alien organisms in the Arizona desert which harbors bugs that grow from one-celled organisms to giant insects bent on taking over the world, faster than as you can say, "Contrived script."

Kane and Block try to keep the meteor’s organisms a secret, because it’s an opportunity for the pair to win a Nobel Prize and teach at a top university. In addition, Kane can regain respect from the scientific community which abandoned him.

As the aliens grow (and some are pretty grotesque) Reitman pays homage to the corny 1950’s science-fiction films such as "Them!," "The Blob" and "20 Million Miles To Earth" as the Army mobilizes to covertly try to control the organisms, and then finally try to destroy the invaders once the genie is out of the bottle.

Reitman also tries to muster up the same enthusiasm he managed in "Ghostbusters" — a far superior film — but falls short. Kane, Block and Wayne (Seann William Scott), a hapless wannabe fireman, are the trio who seem to be the only people on Earth with an idea on how to kill the bugs.

Reitman even brings "Ghostbusters" alumnus Dan Aykroyd into the film as Arizona's governor during the third act to bolster the script. But even Aykroyd’s presence cannot help "Evolution" reach "Ghostbusters’" savvy and intelligence.

Instead of a smart and tight script, (warning there’s a giant sphincter in the film) Reitman relies on bathroom humor to move the film along and finally eliminate the insects and save the day. "Ghostbusters" intensity and comic relief is non-existent.

Admittedly, Duchovny and Jones (who does those silly 7-Up commercials) provide a few chuckles, and several of the bugs will give the audience quite a start, but in the final analysis, if you strip away the special-effects, there really isn’t very much left.



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