I saw Evolution at the Dreamland Theatre in Nantucket
where I have been watching movies since the 1960's. Let's just say that
this wasn't the best film I've seen there. Ivan Reitman has directed
some really funny films including two of my favorites, Ghostbusters
and Dave. These two
movies had great casts lead by Bill Murray and Kevin Kline, but funny as
these guys are, they still need some material. These films also had
great scripts. You just don't hear lines like, ``Cats and Dogs living together,"
anymore! Evolution has a good cast but unfortunately Reitman
and his writers have run out of ideas. I can hear the meeting now
where they pitched the idea for Evolution, ``It's like Ghostbusters
except they have to deal with all sorts of crazy aliens like in Men In
Black." A meteorite crashes to Earth and two community college science
teachers (David Duchovny and Orlando Jones) take a few pieces of it back
to their lab and start growing microbes. Unfortunately, these microbes
are evolving at a very fast rate and a huge array of alien life-forms soon
appears. Soon, the military is involved and the Center for Disease
Control sends in one of their scientists (Julianne Moore). Chaos
ensues and needless to say, the military can't handle it so our heroes
must save the day. One thing that separates Evolution from
many other movies of the genre is that early on, Jones says, ``I'm not
doing that. I've seen that movie. The black guy gets it first." Unfortunately,
the characters had not seen one important film, The
Andromeda Strain, which might have saved them a lot of trouble.
But then there wouldn't have been much of a plot. Come to think of
it, there isn't much of a plot anyway. Hence, the problem with Evolution.
Duchovny and Jones make the most of their parts and have a good chemistry
together. They provide most of the good moments in this film.
Moore is a bit wasted here. As the NY Times reviewer says,`` Ms. Moore
falls down a lot and bumps into things. She's sexy, she's a scientist,
she's clumsy; comic invention of this caliber makes you sorry the writers'
strike never happened." I know that right about now most of you are
saying, ``Geoff doesn't like comedies." In fact, the two people I
went with liked it a lot more than I did. What can I say? Opinions
differ. But if you want to see a combination of Ghostbusters
and Men In Black, rent them
both the same night.