Evolution
dir Ivan Reitman
scr David Diamond, David Weissman, Don Jakoby
with David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Julianne Moore, Seann William Scott, Dan Aykroyd, Ted Levine, Ethan Suplee, Ty Burrell, Michael Bower, Wendy Braun, Wayne Duvall, Sarah Silverman
release US 8.Jun.01; UK 22.Jun.01
Dreamworks 01/US
4 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
have a nice end of the world Ivan Reitman gets his Ghostbusters vibe back with this lively and thoroughly entertaining comedy. There's nothing particularly new here, but the solid cast and consistent humour keep us laughing out loud. When a meteor plummets to the ground in Glen Canyon, Arizona, it draws the interest of the local college science teacher Ira Kane (Duchovny) and his energetic associate Harry (Jones), who discover a rapidly evolving life-form inside. Before they can figure out what's happening, the army moves in to contain things. So with the help of local goombah Wayne (Scott), Ira and Harry go up against the hardheaded general (Levine) and the brainy-gorgeous-clumsy CDC specialist (Moore). Meanwhile the aliens are getting bigger, smarter and meaner.

With its relatively clueless trio of heroes plus one beautiful woman, the film owes a lot more to Ghostbusters than its director and Aykroyd (as the plain-talking governor). It's almost the same film structurally, complete with wacky dialog, creatures both cute and vicious, and a grand finale that features the most hilariously ludicrous twist imaginable. Fortunately, the characters are fresh enough that we don't mind at all. Duchovny has a gift for comedy (see Larry Sanders) and uses it well here, combining intelligence and deadpan timing along with a gentle spoof of his X-Files persona. Jones (Say It Isn't So) finally gets a big role that showcases his acting and comedy skills. Even with the goofy shtick, Moore gives a more subtle and nuanced performance than in Hannibal. And Scott proves once again that he plays the dimwit to near perfection (see also American Pie and Road Trip). On top of this, the film has some serious suspense in it, with a few nicely places jolts and superior effects work. If it's all is just a bit too predictable and familiar, lifting liberally from both Ghostbusters (1984 and '89) and Men in Black ('97), at least it's genuinely funny and filled with engaging characters. Great summer fun.
themes, innuendo, language cert PG 10.Jun.01

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"What an excellent laugh! The film is very Ghostbustery, even has Dan Aykroyd in it. I was not sure at first with it being a PG, but the jokes are funny and also pushes the PG to the edge in some scenes. The ending of this film is a strange one--very strange. If you get the chance watch it. My eight year old son loved it to bits. Four stars." --Gothic, Leeds 25.Sep.01
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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