Evolution

Evolution

2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5

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Sometimes a fart joke is just a fart joke and sometimes a fart joke manages to transcend its mediocrity. Evolution is perhaps not the most appropriate title for Ivan Reitman’s latest if only because the film’s old-fashioned shtick harks back to the unabashed silliness of such early Reitman films like Ghostbusters. Unlike most films in the recent gross-out genre, Evolution has nostalgia on its side. Allison Reed (Julianne Moore) is part of a government operation investigating the infiltration of alien life in a small Nevada town after a meteor crashes on Earth. Moore is notorious for her otherwise grim performances and a continual reference to her character as an “ice queen” must be seen as more than a passing coincidence. Her clumsy performance in Evolution may not garner her any accolades but it’s delightfully tongue-in-cheek. Ex-Pentagon scientist-turned-teacher Ira Kane (David Duchovny in full “X-Files” mode) discovers a life form that can evolve from a single-celled to a multi-celled organism within hours. Denied access to the government’s containment unit after butting heads with ex-boss General Woodman (Ted Levine), Ira makes it his mission to involve himself in his discovery with the aide of an aspiring firefighter (Seann William Scott) and a fellow teacher (Orlando Jones). Scott benefits from the film’s self-reflexivity while Jones is surprisingly funny despite being reduced to black-man-with-diarrhea-of-the-mouth status. Reitman keeps things simple and never takes the material entirely too seriously. Evolution is sophomoric but clever and complete pretense-free.

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Distributor
DreamWorks Pictures
Runtime
105 min
Rating
PG-13
Year
2001
Director
Ivan Reitman
Screenwriter
David Diamond, David Weissman, Don Jakoby
Cast
David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott, Ted Levine, Ethan Suplee, Michael Ray Bower, Pat Kilbane, Ty Burrell, Dan Aykroyd