Australian Reviews and Articles
X-FILES it's not, and if that's what you are looking for, I'd look the other way. On the other hand, if you want an easy story with a few cheap laughs, come on in.
This movie was intended to be a dramatic sci-fi thriller; the director (Ivan Reitman) saw it differently. A few re-writes later and Evolution, the comedic sci-fi, was born. A very tight line to walk at the best of times, yet this movie manages to wobble along.
Evolution deals with the tireless theory that we are not alone in the universe, but forget the radio transmissions, we get to see these babies grow from the ground up. A common theory (supposedly) held within the scientific world, is that life is created on planets by microorganisms trapped in meteorites. The meteorites enter a planet's atmosphere, and are sucked down, crash landing on the surface. After this initial impact the micro-organisms begin multiplying hence - creating life.
Enter Ira (Duchovny) and Harry (Orlando Jones), two Arizonian college professors, bound to small-town-dom. Dealing with Biology classes and students needing grade point averages, life would seem to be coasting. It just so happens that Harry Block (that's block - not black) has gained accreditation to a scientific society over the internet, and is called out to the scene of the meteorites landing.
Whilst taking samples, the "rock" actually starts to bleed the very essence of life. This blue ooze is the first block in the genetic make up, of a new race of aliens, destined to colonise earth and ensure that we become extinct. Running very closely to the theory of our own human evolution we gain an insight into how we began. Obviously the alien's version is speeded up, what took humans 200 billion years to achieve is accomplished by them in a matter of hours.
And what amazing aliens they are, I love these sort of movies if anything, just to see what someone else's imagination can conjure up. The creators of this movie obviously had to deal with an almost complete evolutionary cycle, and to portray that accordingly, they have done quite well.
Everything to the wiggling flat worms that have emerged from the sludge of life, to
well I can't tell you that now can I? Don't expect "Alien" type imagery here, but for the comedic sci-fi that it is, these extra-terrestrials are quite believable.
It was interesting to see Duchovny is this type of role, while the comic merit of this film is dependent upon Jones and Sean William-Scott (Wayne) he manages to see a few punchlines through. Julianne Moore (Allison) on the other hand, seems to miss the beat, but I can guarantee you are not watching Evolution to asses it's Oscar worthiness.
Whilst the delivery is a little off key, it is still a movie worthwhile seeing. As a comedy there are a few laughs and as a sci-fi, a few interesting facts, and an insight into how we ourselves began. Even with it's "Have a nice end of the world" cry, it's no Independence Day.
With a half decent story, the movie seems to fade from pretty good to so-so, the worst of it being the ending, a little anti-climactic. But for the girls there is always the shot of Mr Duchovny's behind, and a classy rendition of Joe Cockers "You are so beautiful". If you want a chuckle and have a fetish for mosquitos in internal cavities, get out and see it.
Stars: David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones and Sean William Scott.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Review by Annalisse Davis, News Interactive, 14 June 2001
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