Classic Intel: Evolution - DVD Review

'Reitman's high-colour pallette is more Ghostbusters II than Ghostbusters I but it does work and the sharp, bright, contrasts lend an almost Mars Attacks! feel to the whole piece'

One of those films that has the right ideas but doesn't necessarily execute them all in the right way, Ivan Reitman's Evolution was considered a failure on initial release having spent $80million getting the film to the screen. On a purely monetary basis that seems justified. Big money must have been given over to stars David Duchovny and Julianne Moore, the former seemingly only present to facilitate some of the script's X-Files in-jokes.

On a purely artistic basis though there's a lot here to like including several memorable scenes that stay with you long after your original viewing. Seann William Scott serenading a giant dinosaur-like alien in a shopping mall is probably chief amongst them (sing 'you... are... so beautiful... to me' to anyone who's seen the film and they'll get you) but Ira Kane's (Orlando Jones) brush with an alien invading his suit (and then his body) also scores highly. Reitman's high-colour palette is more Ghostbusters II than Ghostbusters I but it does work and the sharp, bright, contrasts lend an almost Mars Attacks! feel to the whole piece.

Not that Mars Attacks! was perfect but Evolution falls down by not including some of that film's sharp edges. The comedy here is all very gentle and, some of the above pieces aside, occasionally not that funny. It's fine that this is a tame PG-rated film but that doesn't excuse the lack of genuine wit or the lazy development of jokes that sometimes occurs. Julianne Moore's character for example is described as being a 'menace' because she's so clumsy but by that point we've merely seen her trip over once - not exactly the height of slapstick the character seems intended to provide.

The finale also seems to abandon the comedy trappings of the rest of the film, instead opting for straight-out family actioner. Not that this is necessarily a problem although by this point adults watching with kids might have found themselves growing a little weary. Dan Akyroyd's arrival in what is a fairly lazy bit-part is still enough to just about give the film the lift it needs to see the plot out and the final ticking off exercises are easy to sit through, even if the horrendous product placement isn't.

Look further...

'Unfortunately, at a major plot and evolutionary juncture, the movie opts to get dumber rather than cleverer' - Empire, 3/5


  1. Orlando Jones brought a lot of the laughs out for this film, and does a great job. But the script is such a copy-cat of Ghostbusters that it's almost so obvious. Good Review!

  2. Yeah, I agree - he's very lively and adds a lot to the piece. Agree to on the GHOSTBUSTERS point. It's very similar, which is lazy from Reitman. But even lazy Reitman is fairy good!