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Movie Review: Evolution

Story: Should I be concerned that I laughed at the same things that some of the 11 year old boys laughed at, only I was the one that laughed the loudest? I wanted a few guilt free laughs and I figured that this film would meet that requirement. And, true to form, I was not disappointed. I got a lot of laughs but laughing a lot during a film does not make it a good movie. I have certainly laughed heartily during other films that were not billed as comedies.

The story is as simple as a one celled organism. A meteorite crashes in Arizona, two community college teachers and one goofball dude discover it, analyze it and dream of Nobel prizes and fame. Fast forward to evolving creatures on speed bent on destroying the earth, Government intervention, an abundance of stupidity, chaos and a tidy resolution. There's a lot of 'appropriation' in this film (a growing trend) -- memories of Ghostbusters, the X-Files Men in Black and all of those wonderful sci-fi black and white films made in the 50's. Director Ivan Reitman (Dave, Ghostbusters -- is stealing from your own old movie still called stealing?) has two movies going on at the same time. One, is a clever, understated buddy comedy with hilarious one-liners and the other is an over the top alien, goo, slime, hackneyed, special effects one. Unfortunately, they never meld. There's a lot of butt jokes and sight gags (the 11 year olds really liked those parts). If you lower your expectations (I mean really lower them -- remembering that it is almost officially summer) you will get a few laughs on this film's twist of the Darwin theory of survival of the fittest -- this film is survival of the dumbest -- you'll enjoy yourself.

Acting: This is a tough one. There wasn't so much acting, as reacting. David Duchovney (my favorite X-Files guy) seemed to be having a lot of fun in his deadpan straight line guy rebuts. His filmography does not read well and I know that he will never be 'thanking the Academy' anytime soon. Orlando Jones (I know him mostly from those 7-Up TV commercials) was very funny as the buddy but it was more of a standup comedy role. Julianne Moore who was in every movie made in 1999 probably just needed a comic break after all of her serious roles in such films as Hannibal. Everyone else was right out of central casting.

Critters: Lots of alien critters. It seemed as if every special effects leftover creation came out of the prop department for this one.

Food: No time to eat. Too busy fighting aliens and saving the world.

Visual Art: None.

Blatant Product Placement: Head and Shoulders shampoo and Pottery Barn.

Soundtrack: Funny, but heard before.

Opening Titles: This could have been a great area but it was very unimpressive.

Theater Audience: This was almost better than the movie. I was the only female in the entire theater. There were about 20 adult men scattered about the theater and one loony was sitting in the first row. There were also a dozen preteen boys. Interestingly, all of the adult men who came to the theater together sat with one seat between them (as I have mentioned before -- that seems to be the norm for 'straight' guys). However, the preteen boys all clustered together and spent much of the time hitting each other over the head with empty popcorn bags. There was lots of touching and cajoling for this group. Right before the previews two teenage boys with skateboards came rolling down the aisle and sat right near me. Other than a lot of burping sounds from these two -- they were well behaved.

Squirm Scale: 3 (There was an incident with an anal probe).

Predictability Level: High

Oscar Worthy: Ha!

Nit Picking: It was as I expected it to be - so there are no nits to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Neither. However, you could have a funny, stupid rental weekend with some of Ivan Reitman's other films which include Dave, Beethoven, Twins, Ghostbusters, Stripes' and Meatballs.

Length: Too long at 95 minutes.