Film Reviews


By • Jun 8th, 2001 •

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I’m about to forgive David Duchovny for mucking up THE X FILES (If only Chris Carter had followed my obsessed-fan advice: The new season opens with Skinner firing Mulder pronto – no questions answered – and Scully, with new partner Doggett, go right back to hunting incestuous Kentucky monsters. No alien kidnapping with stylized S&M, no tearful search week after week for Mulder, and no turkey baster birth). Finally, with EVOLUTION, Duchovny has the movie vehicle he so vocally ached for. It’s a grown-up comedy with enough good writing, chemistry, and alien-rich special effects to lift Duchovny’s career out of the doldrums.

Director Ivan Reitman has put together a good cast to compliment the very laid-back Duchovny. Community college biology teacher Dr. Ira Kane (Duchovny) and his colleague, geology professor Harry Block (Orlando Jones) discover, with the aid of wannabe fireman Wayne Green (Seann William Scott), that a massive meteor has crashed in the Arizona desert and is spawning alien lifeforms. As soon as these two figure out the lightning speed at which the alien cells are evolving, the U.S. Military and their scientists, including garter-belt wearing Dr. Allison Reed (Julianne Moore), arrive to quarantine and analyze the creatures. Of course, the creatures are evolving too fast to contain and pretty soon the crawling insects are winged dinosaurs. When the hairy bipedals turn up, it’s time for a plan of action and a quick, silly, mindless resolution.

EVOLUTION is Reitman’s tribute to The Buttocks. The movie boasts two anal probes, constant posterior fascination (both alien and human) by Block, and one full moon by Duchovny. Orlando Jones, keeping his eye-popping acting style under control, chews up all his screen time while Duchovny relies on his easy, affable charm to give the movie just the right sense of droll fun and cleverness. With EVOLUTION he translates his X FILES charisma to the screen. Moore, obviously needing some downtime from heavy acting, doesn’t make the most of her small supporting role. Dan Ackroyd, who must have made a career pact with Satan, guest stars as the governor of Arizona.

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