So Much for Darwin!
A.J.'s Rating: 2 Shooting Stars 
Evolution
Directed By:  Ivan Reitman
Written By:  Don Jakoby (story) / David Diamond
Starring:  David Duchovney, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott
Rated:  PG-13  (Language / Brief Nudity)
Running Time:  90 Min.
    When a meteor slams into the Arizona desert and nasty alien life forms begin oozing from it, who you gonna call?  You would of course call David Duchovney and Orlando Jones, two misfit teachers from the local community college!  Together, these E.T. Buster wannabes try to contain the otherworldly forces that confront them, while attempting to be funny at the same time.  To aid our two zany scientists in their wacky work, an equilibrium-challenged Julianne Moore is introduced as both a love interest and an additional source of silliness.
   
    This movie had the potential to be a really great piece of science-fiction comedy, but had an equal chance to be a really awful one.  However unlikely, Evolution manages to fail on both counts.  Most of the laughs are only due to Duchovney's involvement in the television program and film The X-Files.  None of those laughs are due to the script, mind you, but simply that Duchovney has chosen this role as his first departure from his X-Files character of Fox Mulder.  Way to go Mulder, er, I mean Duchovney, now you'll escape being type-cast for sure!  As for other laughs, they are few and far between.  It appears that everyone involved knew this from the outset, as desperate acts of physical humor attempt to make up for the lack of funny dialogue.  Also attempting to amuse is Orlando Jones, who has a couple funny lines, but is rather sadly given nothing better to do than rattle off variations on the same tired "this always happens to the black guy" joke throughout most of the movie.  Unfortunately, the majority of other jokes provided by the script are of an equal or more tasteless nature.  Finally, this film ends almost as successfully as the average Saturday Night Live sketch, and trust me, that is not a good thing!
   
    On the bright side, this movie does have a few impressive special effect sequences, a great cast and, well, um, I guess that's about it for the bright side.  So, if you were hoping to discover that missing link between Ghostbusters and Men in Black, keep searching because Evolution certainly isn't it.
   
   
Review published
June 10, 2001
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