Evolution (SE)/ C, B
Evolution is a spoof of cheesy science fiction movies in
black and white in the early fifties. It's never funny or outrageous enough.
The creative forces stop short of
letting the lid blow off and thereby undermine whatever potential for comic
success is inherent in the material. Maybe there isn't much at that.
When a giant object crashes to the earth in the
Arizona desert, a couple of college professors arrive on the scene to
investigate and bluff their way through the police lines. You probably
guessed already, it's an alien presence. Before the aliens can catch their
first clean breath of desert air, the military arrives on the scene to take
charge with a bull dog general and pretty chief scientist in the lead. The
profs have to battle the government guys to share in the discovery. But
there's more going on below ground than meets the eyes. At this point
someone should have called Ghostbusters.
Exercising authority dubiously. ©Dreamworks
You got that right. Director Ivan Reitman 's been down this road before to much greater effect.
His Ghostbusters Pillsbury Doughboy towers over anything in
Evolution, especially the limply massive alien Jell-O mess that stands in for
the ultimate alien. When the Pillsbury Doughboy
explodes, it's a joyful glob of inspired nuttiness. When Evolution's
alien gets the pump job before splattering over the desert, it isn't the least
David Duchovny goes through the motions as Dr. Ira
Kane in a bland
stupor. Orlando Jones who plays colleague Harry Block tries to be outrageous and
he does overshadow Duchovny, but that doesn't say much in this
instance. It might surprise you, but Julianne Moore, who has made her reputation is
serious roles, displays thee best display of comic timing finding a source
of daffiness in her portrayal of scientist Dr. Allison Reed.
A film like Evolution really has to provide a lot of
belly laughs. Probably, the most naturally comic actor is Seann William
Scott, playing country club maintenance guy Wayne Grey. He's got a goofy presence. With some crisper scripting, Scott could
have provided those needed guffaws. The alien incarnations fall short of their potential to rock the
mirth meter. The military machine is not depicted with broad enough strokes; no,
they're not quite to taken seriously, but they are not funny either. Basically,
Evolution falls splat to earth.
Evolution looks very good, a typically sharp transfer from new
source material. Perhaps color saturation could have been goosed a little
bit. Blacks are deep enough and shadow detail is revealing with good depth. The DTS surround has ample range with good, deep base extension. The
fine surround effects are highlighted by outstanding flying monster
Packaged as a special edition, Evolution includes
a conversation with Reitman and stars Duchovny, Jones and Scott. A number of
deleted scenes are part of the package. There's storyboard comparisons and
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