Projections - Movie Reviews



In an attempt to capture the magic of Men In Black and Ghostbusters, director Ivan Reitman delivers Evolution.  Unfortunately, this film is boring, unimaginative and most of the time depends on special effects to carry the story.

Our story begins with the landing of a meteor that ends up being investigated by Ira Kane, a biology professor at an obscure community college in Arizona, played by David Duchovny (X-Files, Return to Me) and his associate Harry Block (Orlando Jones).  The two quickly determine that extraterrestrial life is present and to keep the secret to themselves.  Much to everyone's surprise Kane has a skeleton in his closet - he worked for the military as a scientist before being "asked" to leave.  This prior work experience has made the military skeptical of Kane and as a result of surveillance of his computer and phone, they (the military) soon take over the discovery.

Introduce Dr. Allison Reed (Julianne Moore) as a clumsy representative of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the possibilities for the film increase.  Pity that it is only a possibility.  Moore is under utilized and given such bad dialog, there is no hope for redemption.  Also involved with this military coup of the discovery site are veteran actors Ted Levine as the pompous General Woodman and Dan Aykroyd as the typical politician Arizona Governor Lewis.

There are moments of absolute brilliance, but more moments of toilet humor, bad timing and even worse scripting.  Had Reitman decided to make this a real comedy or even gone for a campy style, Evolution could have been a classic.  What you really have is 15 minutes of good direction at the beginning and a downward spiral into a huge pit of old gags and a commercial for Head and Shoulders shampoo.  Even Duchovny's attempt to make fun of himself in the X-Files falls flat.

To borrow a line here, if "The truth is out there", it is not in Evolution.  Duchovny was wonderful in Return to Me, but his dry delivery is not matched to a comic venue.  Moore is given at best ten minutes of screen time - what a waste; and Orlando Jones of those annoying 7UP commercials is the best the film has to offer.  We can only hope that directors will learn that "stars" do not make a movie but a combination of a good script, vision, and a director committing to a style and not meandering between many in the attempt to reach all age groups for a bigger audience does.  A film should be made for one of three reasons: to entertain; to challenge; to expose.  Evolution does none of the three.


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