Quick Hit: Entertaining at times, but never more than a few chuckles worth.
Sometimes watching movies from the early 2000s can feel like a mostly remembered dream. I watched so many movies that I had purchased from questionable flea market vendors that now when I return to them, all of them are slightly tinged with a hint of nostalgia from when I first became obsessed with film, and, in particular, the horror genre. But today’s film isn’t really horrific – those elements are played almost exclusively for comedy – but it could have been a horror. In fact, today’s film, Evolution, from 2001, is a weird comedic backdrop for a similar idea that was Life.
We start, as most science fiction films do, with an alien arriving via meteor into the desert. After some comedic laughs from Seann William Scott (yes, the Stifler is in this), we are introduced to our brainy characters, Harry (Orlando Jones) and Ira (David Duchovny, hot off X-Files). Because those making the film wanted to appeal to those that liked X-Files, we get another redhead to play a love interest for Ira – Julianna Moore as Allison, a scientist for the military.
*A side note here - it’s really interesting to me when I think about the fact that Julianne Moore followed a red head here in Gillian Anderson and then ANOTHER red head in a sequel to Silence of the Lambs, replacing Jodie Foster. Not surprising really – Moore is terrific in most things, but hard to figure out why she could only find roles as a red head step child, so to speak. Carry on*
The aliens in question start as small worm like creatures, but rapidly evolve (hence, of course, the name of the film). Depending on the way the story turns, and what they encounter, they seem to evolve into whatever is most exciting at the moment. Need a worm to go up someone’s nether regions – no problem. Need an ape like creature so that we can get a scene reminiscent of Congo or the best parts of the Morloks from The Time Machine? Boom, we can do that. HOW ABOUT DINOSAURS? Yup, we got that too.
Really, the creatures are by far the highlight of the film. While age has not necessarily been kind to a lot of the effects in this film, it still manages to blaze by in a mist of scientific mumbo jumbo and some comedic entries. And some of the creatures actually are a bit frightening, in particular the ape creatures. BUT LOOK AT THIS WITTLE GUY!!!
So is the movie a good movie? Not really. It’s paint by numbers, and even the jokes seem like they’re going to return… and they do. A LOT of the film is reminiscent of films that do things better – think Independence Day, Alien, etc. But is it fun? Usually. So I’m going to give it a “C-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"