12 June 2001 | Fincher-3
When I first read about Evolution, the latest sci-fi scheme to come from DreamWorks, I was interested. A story about aliens with humor, not bad. Then when I read that Ivan Reitman, the BEST comedic director of the 80's and one of the best of all time was at the helm, I was thrilled. I mean, come on, after he was given duds like `Father's Day' and `Six Days, Seven Nights' to work with, isn't it about time that Hollywood gave him a project worth while (I won't even mention the bombastic disaster of `Junior'
oh, I just did)?
It begins with the introduction of Scott's character, Wayne Green, a wannabe fireman practicing for his fireman final (questionable at first, hilarious in the end). Then he gets an unexpected visitor - a meteor, carrying alien organisms hits the heart of the Arizona desert. After a community college science professor, Ira Kane Duchovny, working with one screwed up screen name)and his eccentric geologist buddy, Harry Block (Jones) discover the meteor, they find that the `bleeding' rock starts to create these weird alien creatures and soon they begin to multiply. Kane's nemeses, Gen. Woodman (Levine) and the military get involved, things get too out-of-control, so it's up to the teaming of Kane, Block, Green and government scientist Allison Reed (Moore) to stop the evolution.
If you're a Reitman fan, the plot of this could make you go in expecting some kind of tribute to both `Ghostbusters'. In a way it is, and is that a bad thing? Hell no! If you liked, or even loved (like me) `Ghostbusters', I can bet my clean pair of boxers that you'll get a hoot out of `Evolution'. But of course any film must maintain some distance from the films its being compared too, and `Evolution' does that. The characters and situations are different, atmospherically. Duchovny turns in a `cool' performance, by that meaning he wasn't Mr. Badass or Mr. Laugh-a-Minute, he was just, well, Duchovny and that itself is always pleasing to watch. Jones is his usual funny self, delivering some funny lines. Moore's ability to do just about anything comes in handy here, playing the hottie-yet-clumsy love interest. Scott's acting resembles the other roles he's done in the past, and I've come to appreciate that (that thing he does w/ his eyebrow is getting funnier every time). Can't say the same for Levine; his cliché performance as the bad-guy-who-doesn't-listen character gets annoying fast.
A lot of the film makes me question what it is, and really what it could have been. The script, penned by three writers, was originally written as a sci-fi THRILLER, not a sci-fi comedy. There were a lot of laughs, but because of the script's origin, there could have been more. But considering the script was originally a sci-fi thriller, the filmmakers, including Reitman, did a great job. Can't say much for the ending, though: the ending looks and feels like a meshed-up result of what-could-have-been, and from that mushiness, the filmmakers poked at and took at least some of the good elements. Thank god the film is a comedy; if it was its original idea, the ending would have been disastrous.
`Evolution' is a overall crowd-pleaser with nice special effects and makeup (those dead aliens looked great). It's a few laughs and comedic situations short of comedic greatness, but look on the bright side-Reitman is back in his lovable kick-ass form. He's tapped into the present and how most comedies are made, but he didn't dare forget his roots: there is a sequence in the film where Duchovny, Jones and Scott chase down a flying creature in a mall. The three, equipped with shotguns, dispose of it in true Ghostbusters style. And with me being a big Ghostbusters fan, I fell in love with the it, plus its the best scene in the film. (The trio singing after their battle; nice touch).