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Overall Rating
3.07

Awesome: 6.56%
Worth A Look40.16%
Average: 23.77%
Pretty Bad: 12.3%
Total Crap: 17.21%

8 reviews, 74 user ratings


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Evolution
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by Scott Weinberg

"Fun, witty cast upstaged by familiar, bloated effects."
3 stars

Once again we have a high-profile director behind the scenes of yet another big-budget sci-fi effects show. Once again, Ivan Reitman tries to Xerox his classic Ghsotbusters motif into something resembling a "new idea". And once again, the overblown and ultimately uninvolving special effects overshadow some actors working pretty damn hard.

I suppose a filmmaker can't be blamed for going to the well once too often. When Ivan Reitman signs on to direct an expensive "summer movie", it's only logical that the studio would shoot for Ghostbusters-like box office numbers. Unfortunately, Evolution comes off more like a thinly- disguised sequel than something new and original.

Aside from a few funny sequences and a handful of winning performances, there's basically nothing of note to be found in Evolution. The creepy-crawly alien effects are colorful enough to hold your interest...but then again, so is your average screen saver. Things have improved a bit recently, but Evolution seems firmly stuck in that "cool FX = good movie" mindset so prevalent a few years back.

As the film opens, we see a dagger-shaped meteor crash down in the Arizona desert. The first one to come across the artifact is Wayne Gray, a goofy young man training to become a firefighter. Wayne contacts two professors from the local community college, Ira Kane and Harry Block. After doing some initial tests on the meteor, the doctors discover that the rock contains biological life forms. And of course these life forms are growing! The army quickly swoops in and takes over the crash site, while Ira and Harry quickly find themselves out of the loop.

That's when Ghostbusters 3 kicks in.

Technical merits are a mixed bag, at best. While many of the more elaborate creatures are indeed fun to look at, the way in which the aliens are utilized (particularly in the disgusting and unfunny conclusion) is nothing short of criminal. One scene in which a gaggle of housewives discover an E.T. goes literally nowhere, and the "big" monster scenes come off like deleted scenes from Jurassic Park 2. Huge editing gaffes abound, and the pace shifts from light and breezy to loud and violent without warning.

What saves Evolution from being unwatchable is its surprisingly entertaining cast. As Dr. Kane, David Duchovny (Playing God) is very dry and much funnier than you'd probably expect. Orlando Jones (The Replacements) gets most of the movie's best lines and proves that he can indeed be as funny in a movie as he is in those 7-Up commercials. (Duchovny and Jones strike up an amicable chemistry onscreen.) As the CDC agent in charge of the project, Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) seems to be having some fun cast against type. It's always a hoot to see an esteemed AK-TOR doing silly pratfalls and double takes, and Moore proves to have a solid sense of humor. Seann William Scott (Road Trip) essentially reprises his 'sarcastic surfer-guy' persona from his earlier films, but manages some goofy charm.

In smaller (and only intermittently entertaining) roles, Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs, Dan Aykroyd (Trading Places) and Ethan Suplee (Mallrats) manage to add some color to the proceedings as well, but ultimately Evolution is a movie about slimy CGI-animated aliens. No amount of witty banter or charisma can do battle with a 5,000-pound intergalactic slime slug.

And that's too bad, because the best things about Evolution are the plain old humans and the funny things they say. Cut out all the goopy, expensive alien stuff and replace it with more character scenes and dialogue, I bet you'd have a damn good comedy.

As far as 'popcorn flicks' go, you could certainly do a lot worse. The flick moves along quickly and the entire cast gives it their all, but the project is hampered by its massive effects. We KNOW Hollywood can create slimy aliens ad nauseum, but who knew that David Duchovny could be so FUNNY?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4710&reviewer=128
originally posted: 11/14/01 13:46:05
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User Comments

12/10/09 Chris Tanner My Favourite Movie of All Time 5 stars
11/04/09 Jeff Wilder Very funny sci-fi comedy. Better than Mars Attacks or Men In Black II. 4 stars
5/19/09 Rhys Hughes Crackin' fun film. There's always time for lubricant! 4 stars
6/09/08 PAUL SHORTT FEELS LIKE THE SCRIPT WAS CRANKED OUT TO MEET A DEADLINE 1 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK It looks like a de''Evolution'' in Film making (pardon the pun.) 2 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega 'Ghostbusters' meet 'Aliens'. 4 stars
9/23/06 Charles Tatum Rejected Ghostbusters sequel without the laughs 2 stars
8/27/05 R.W. Welch Slapstick sci-fi. Okay premise devolves into FX for the sake of FX. 2 stars
6/12/05 Gecko Fanfoot A total waste of time and film 1 stars
3/22/05 Jeff Anderson Owes a great deal to director Reitman's GHOSTBUSTERS, but occasionally witty & cast is fun. 3 stars
6/05/04 john bale Another SF spoof in the MIB mold, mildy amusing thanks to a good cast and SFX. 3 stars
5/06/04 J.Peckerfoot This film is dog shit.i rarely say that about any film. 1 stars
1/16/04 Gecko Fanfoot A God-awful piece of shit AND a complete waste of time to boot! 1 stars
12/30/03 Littlepurch Funny, clever and enjoyable. Easily as good as Ghostbusters. 5 stars
6/30/03 francis Surely a film must make at least a little sense. This is plain silly. 2 stars
6/23/03 John Aster Habig Sucks like Joe Dirt and Eight Crazy Nights 1 stars
4/19/03 Ubu the Ripper Hilariously awful. How can so many good actors suck so bad at one time? 1 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby A few good moments, but this is second-rate, lazy stuff. 2 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon Great chemistry between Duchovny and Jones. 4 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper A complete waste of celluloid. Duchovny should be ostracized for being associated with this 1 stars
10/22/02 Jiz Fun flick, but nothing special. 4 stars
9/30/02 Butterbean The slapstick was stupid instead of funny. 2 stars
7/23/02 Bada Bing Crosby Not just unworthy of Julianne Moore, but all thinking human beings 1 stars
5/11/02 Keith unworthy of Julianne Moore's talents. 3 stars
4/16/02 Danielle Ophelia The cast was an effective compensation for its shortcomings. 4 stars
3/11/02 Jim Amusing and forgettable 4 stars
3/05/02 Alan Smithee The movie's okay, but Ms. Moore as always does a great job. 3 stars
2/27/02 J I'm pretty much with Greg, Y2 & both Eriks on this one. Good movie. 4 stars
2/25/02 Mitja Podgajski Not too bad:). 3 stars
2/10/02 Dawn Someone with "Some High School Chem" could prove their 'scientific' theories wrong! 1 stars
1/30/02 Monday Morning Very disappointing given its cast, director and EFX. 2 stars
1/21/02 The Bomb 69 should have been better, took too many shortcuts 3 stars
1/11/02 max zhang after I took the girl to this movie, she refused to have sex with me. 1 stars
1/03/02 Dave Gonyea This was sooooo bad, it hurt! 1 stars
12/07/01 Dominik Duprelle Terminal, desparate dreck-STINKS OUT THE SWAMP. 1 stars
12/06/01 KMG It was good....scott thinks it's retarded 2 stars
11/15/01 Marlene Steinberg I really enjoyed it. Took my whole family and found it to be very entertaining. 4 stars
11/15/01 Anita McNab As a X Files Fan, I knew that David Duchovny was Funny, and This Movie proves that he is. 5 stars
11/09/01 Mark "Let's shampoo us some aliens!" With quotes like that, how can you not see this movie? 5 stars
10/30/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Orlando Jones and Dan Aykroyd are the best HUMAN characters. 3 stars
10/26/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! one of my all-time favourite films!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/13/01 Bevan R. Clark A derivative piece of shit. 1 stars
9/11/01 cameron it was very very funny. 5 stars
7/28/01 Turtle It's basically just Ghostbusters mixed in with Men in Black. Who said that was a bad thing? 4 stars
7/24/01 Gizzy Fun, despite a silly final 15 minutes 4 stars
7/11/01 Katherine Perry enjoyable and funny though at moments unneccessarily sophomoric. 4 stars
7/10/01 Anne Major cheese, but I had fun anyhow. 3 stars
7/03/01 Matthew Bartley Very funny 4 stars
6/27/01 russrickee Some parts funny, was expecting it to go somewhere, but it didn't 3 stars
6/23/01 Nightraven It did rehash some existing plots, but was still a good way to have fun for a little while/ 4 stars
6/22/01 brent young funny. used the ghostbuster formula. the shampoo part was hilarious. though not all got it 4 stars
6/22/01 ArtiGrafiche Was it a product commercial, or a movie? 2 stars
6/18/01 bobbuttons nothing too serious...a good time: oh yeah, DONKEY LIPS from Salute your Shorts is in this 4 stars
6/17/01 Thor-Leo Slow, flat, predictable, phoned-in performances. Bilked out of $7.50!!! 2 stars
6/16/01 LdyArdRhi Formulaic, scrape off ghosts and put in aliens and you have Evolution...but FUNNY. 4 stars
6/15/01 mc iedh very flat,unfunny,rushed,predictable; meant to be fun and giddy but ended just plain bad 1 stars
6/15/01 BrainPan expected some jokes. I wanted to like this, but no gut-busters. Duchovny still rocks. 3 stars
6/15/01 Rampage at least it beat Starship Troopers and MIB, I think Duchovny was good 4 stars
6/15/01 Brandon Glenn Rogers just saw this film the other day, loved it. 5 stars
6/14/01 JB Poor attempt to revist Ghostbusters. Rent Ghostbusters. Yet the hairy monster was cool. 2 stars
6/14/01 fishie definately worth going to see, orlando jones is hilarous. 4 stars
6/13/01 Jim Kidd I loved it, but it seemed like something was missing from the whole movie 4 stars
6/13/01 bats If Reitman wanted to make a Ghostbusters ripoff, why not "GB II"? Lame. 2 stars
6/13/01 Darren Shea a fun, dumb comedy with good chemistry between the leads. 4 stars
6/13/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Perfect summer fare...Duchovny has amazing comedic timing...Moore's good, too... 4 stars
6/12/01 Biz McNatch Easygoing and affable. Orlando finally has a real performance. Dave should always do comedy 5 stars
6/12/01 TheFirkin It's not Ghostbusters but it was great! 4 stars
6/12/01 Mike TERRIBLE 1 stars
6/11/01 BKrymsin Constant laughs; but ended with a sputter. 4 stars
6/11/01 ArtiGrafiche A piece of product marketing crapola! 2 stars
6/10/01 Benjamin Lesbian What a load of horseshit! Very pedestrian ripoff of Ghostbusters! 2 stars
6/10/01 Turtle Ghostbusters meets Men in Black. What a wonderful experience. 4 stars
6/10/01 Jim Kidd I laughed throughout the whole movie, but I felt that it was also missing something 3 stars
6/09/01 AgentDS I went to see David, nothing more! 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Jun-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Jul-2001 (M)




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