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Overall Rating
3.08

Awesome: 6.45%
Worth A Look41.13%
Average: 23.39%
Pretty Bad: 12.1%
Total Crap: 16.94%

8 reviews, 76 user ratings


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Evolution
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by EricDSnider

"A comedy that's under control and disciplined while still being loopy."
4 stars

What a joy it is to watch a comedy like "Evolution," where these rules are followed: The main characters are funny and even frantic, but never cloying, hammy or over-eager. The story is not adhered to religiously, but neither is it thrown to the wind for the sake of some non-sequitur jokes or pop-culture references. The humor dabbles in crudeness, but generally eschews it, preferring to remain in the realm of good old-fashioned nuttiness.

For as loose and crazy as "Evolution" is, there is an underlying intelligence that speaks volumes about the filmmakers' level of respect for the audience: We can amuse them without speaking down to them.

Not that it's afraid to get down in the dirt, because it does stoop to ground level when necessary. The difference is, when Orlando Jones is face-down on a gurney having an alien life form removed from his tuckus, it's not just the grossness of the situation that makes audiences hoot. It's the fact that the scene has some actual funny dialogue and dedicated performances in it. The film doesn't lean on outrageous situations for its laughs; it creates outrageous situations and then continues to work, mining real comedy from those circumstances.

Orlando Jones plays Harry Block, a science teacher and women's volleyball coach at Glen Canyon Community College in Arizona. He and his fellow instructor Ida Kane (David Duchovny) are first on the scene when a meteor crashes to the Earth, and they discover living organisms on the rock. These organisms begin not just to multiply, but to actually evolve from single cells to simple life forms to fish to amphibians to reptiles, and so on. In a matter of days, they do what it took mankind 250 million years to do.

The government takes over, naturally, and ruins everything, led by Ida's former military acquaintance Dr. Woodman (Ted Levine) and CDC representative Allison Reed (Julianne Moore). But in the end, it is the expertise of the regular guys, aided by local drop-out Wayne (Seann William Scott) and a firetruck full of Head & Shoulders shampoo, who save the day from the rapidly advancing alien civilization.

The director is Ivan Reitman, who also helmed "Ghostbusters," to which this film has a few similarities (including the presence of a droll Dan Aykroyd, this time as Arizona's no-nonsense governor). Jones and Duchovny together fill the Bill Murray role, remaining glib while things become hysterical around them.

It's the deadpan tone that keeps the film hopping. Rather than lunge at the jokes, everyone stays cool about it, letting the humor flow naturally. Duchovny is expert at this, of course, from his years on "The X-Files," but it's refreshing to see Jones (and Scott, who usually appears only in teen dumbbell comedies) doing respectable, comically dignified work.

Yes, I said dignified. No matter how extreme things get and there is a moment when Jones' character gets revenge on an alien for the aforementioned back-end trouble the performers remain under control. Julianne Moore's clumsiness seems out of place, in fact. You wouldn't think someone falling down a lot would be an ill fit for a sci-fi comedy, but it is.

Some of the ideas don't pan out, most notably Scott's character's attempts at being a fireman and the obligatory romance between Kane and Reed. But the laughs are solid far more often than they're weak, and when it's over, you've been entertained.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4710&reviewer=247
originally posted: 06/09/01 07:05:57
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User Comments

5/26/15 JohnnyO Fun movie. It was light on clever dialogue but well cast, good premise, good popcorn flick. 4 stars
5/31/14 KennethC Good vibe, not the best film, but very enjoyable. 4 stars
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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