Movie Review: Evolution (2001)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the comedy starring David Duchovny and Orlando Jones.

Synopsis: Two professors at a small Arizona college investigate a newly-fallen meteorite and discover rapidly-evolving alien organisms. Their research is hijacked by the United States Army but the military intervention isn't enough to keep the quickly-growing creatures from spreading through an underground cavern system and terrorizing residents in a near-by town.

Review

My wife and I actually had time to sit down and watch a movie yesterday evening and, rather than risk wasting it on a movie we weren't sure about, decided to watch this film, which is one of our favorite comedies. It had been a while since we last saw this movie and I didn't remember a lot about it as a result. But, after seeing it again, I remembered exactly why we loved it so much.

The movie actually reminds me of another of our favorite films, Tremors. The plot is relatively simple and, under many circumstances, might not normally be very memorable. However, much like with Tremors, an outstanding cast makes the simple plot work.

For me, personally, I liked the interaction between Duchovny, Jones and Scott throughout the film. Their characters, a former military biologist (Duchovny), an underachieving geology teacher (Jones) and a wannabe firefighter (Scott) each brought their own strong personality to the film and, while Duchovny got top billing, I don't think the film would have been the same if any of the three were missing. And, while I'm not sure Julianne Moore's character was necessarily needed, she did bring a little extra once she became part of the group.

Another thing I liked about this film is it avoided being predictable. Having an alien invader that was always changing/evolving was something that was able to keep the various characters (and the audience) on their toes because you never quite knew what was going to happen next. I especially liked the decision to have the aliens evolve into a variety of different subspecies ranging from bugs to flying dragon-like dinosaurs. This, in my opinion at least, made the film more enjoyable than it would have been had the aliens all looked exactly alike.

My only real complaint about the movie is I wish Dan Aykroyd would have had a bigger role. He was so outstanding as the governor and yet he was limited to just the final part of the film. I would have loved to have seen him become part of the movie sooner, especially since Levine, while OK in his role as General Woodman, just never reached a point where I felt he was a strong antagonist.

Final Opinion

This is a funny film that my wife and I enjoy every time we take the time to watch it. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 04/23/2019, StevenHelmer
 
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