Main cast: David Duchovny (Dr Ira Kane), Orlando Jones (Dr Harry Block), Julianne Moore (Dr Allison Reed), Seann William Scott (Wayne Green), Dan Aykroyd (Governor of Arizona), and Ted Levine (General Woodman)
Director: Ivan Reitman
I must ask David Duchovny what he is thinking. After three or maybe four years about whining about how he doesn’t want to be typecasted as a snarky secret-agent-cum-academic-who-chases-after-aliens in The X-Files, he has to play a snarky ex-secret-agent-now-an-academic-who-chases-after-aliens in his first post The-X-Files career. Hello?
Evolution is no The Ghostbusters, the presence of Dan Aykroyd notwithstanding. It is as if Ivan Reitman has decided to jump onto the potty humor bandwagon with this movie, because the plot here isn’t as smart as it could be, and the script plugs in anal-probe jokes and Julianne Moore falling down (repeatedly) in a futile attempt to mask the silly plot.
The plot, or what little of it, is about how this comet crashes onto somewhere in Arizona, bringing with it unicellular aliens that start evolving rapidly – within days – into all sorts of nasty beasties. Into the scene come Doctors Ira Kane (former secret agent now living in disgrace) and Harry Block (pervert, wisecracking male coach of the female university volleyball team, and his best moments are during his anal probe fine hour). Blocking their way to maverick superheroism are the CDC led by klutzy and clumsy Dr Allison Reed, who, because she’s white and so is Ira, falls for the latter. Joining the team as an unnecessary appendage, albeit an amusing one, is aspiring firefighter Wayne Green, who is the fellow that stumbles upon the comet. Seann William Scott reprises the role he played in Dude, Where’s My Car? with an IQ boost of maybe +50.
Duchovny deadpans his way ala Fox Mulder. Typecasting… et tu Duchovny? Some may call his performance “a satire on Fox Mulder”. I’m not too sure. Orlando Jones hams it up, and Julianne Moore actually makes a decent heroine despite her demeaning role as the woman who has to prove to the man that “she is hot”. Seann William Scott is okay for his limited role, but gad, Dan Aykroyd is irritating.
Put in the usual the-military-are-firepower-sucking-idiots plot device, lots of jokes about anal probes, great product placements of Heads & Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo, and a completely cop-out and superfluous “moment of discovery”, and Evolution is strictly sci fi blockbuster for dummies. It has its moments (Orlando Jones getting butt-probed!) but more often than not, it misses more than it hits the bullseye.