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.
- Ivan Reitman
- David Diamond, David Weissman, Don Jakoby
- David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott, Ted Levine, Ethan Suplee, Michael Ray Bower, Pat Kilbane, Ty Burrell, Dan Aykroyd
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