DreamWorks Distribution | Release Date: June 8, 2001
6.5
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Generally favorable reviews based on 68 Ratings
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37
Mixed:
23
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8
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5
CineAutoctonoDec 22, 2015
"Evolution" was a very regular movie and some interesting question though comedy and science fiction out of it regularly in the visual effects, but very reliable with the plot .
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5
MovieMasterEddyApr 6, 2016
In "Evolution," Ivan Reitman's scattershot sci-fi comedy, Orlando Jones and David Duchovny play community college science instructors who happen upon an alien life-form that threatens to take over the world. A meteor has crashed into theIn "Evolution," Ivan Reitman's scattershot sci-fi comedy, Orlando Jones and David Duchovny play community college science instructors who happen upon an alien life-form that threatens to take over the world. A meteor has crashed into the Arizona desert. Examining the blue- green slime that oozes from beneath its surface ("It's a rock that bleeds!"), Mr. Duchovny's character, a disgraced former Pentagon biologist named Ira Kane, discovers a colony of squirming star-shaped amoebas. These quickly mutate into more complex microorganisms, and then into computer-animated flatworms, insects, slimy lizards and angry primates.

The movie itself evolves in reverse, starting life as a moderately clever grab bag of high-concept noodling and half-witty badinage before descending into the primordial ooze of explosions and elaborate lower- intestinal gags. Mr. Duchovny and Mr. Jones make an amusing pair. Their interracial shtick is reminiscent of that of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in movies like "Silver Streak" and "Stir Crazy," but with the ragged anxiety of the late 70's smoothed over by the referential pop-culture cool of the present day.

Mr. Duchovny works hard to show some range beyond Agent Mulder's morbid intensity while still poking fun at his "X-Files" pedigree. "No government," Ira snaps when Harry suggests alerting the federal authorities about their discovery. "I know how those people operate." In his first scenes, Mr. Duchovny, who was a Ph.D. candidate in literature before becoming an alien tracker for the Fox network, captures the easygoing cynicism of the second-rate academic with frightening accuracy. Virtually everyone in his class gets an A, except for two obese brothers whose identical papers, titled "Cells Are Bad," earn them C-minuses.

But compared with Harry, Ira is Jonas Salk. Mr. Jones, best known as the demented pitchman for 7-Up, has quick timing and effortless improvisational flair, as well as an absolute, and in this case welcome, disregard for consistencies of character. Mr. Duchovny is constrained by a silly back story involving his mishandling of a Pentagon-sponsored anthrax vaccine (the laughs never stop!) and a love interest (played, for no good reason, by Julianne Moore); Mr. Jones is free to mug and gangle to his heart's content.

"I've seen this movie," he says as an alien bug crawls around inside his protective suit. "The black dude dies first." No, but he is subject to some fairly gross indignities: the bug must be extracted from his nether regions with forceps. Later, as payback, he administers a dandruff-shampoo enema to the shopping-mall-size mass of protoplasm that threatens civilization as we know it.

Unfortunately, civilization as we know it — that is, the highly evolved state of being that can find no better use for its biological advantages than the production of movies like this one — triumphs in the end. That dandruff shampoo appears to be a clever product placement, a moment that the rest of the movie, for all its ickily impressive digital flora and fauna and its cast of good sports, rarely lives up to.

Seann William Scott, in the designated-doofus (or David Arquette) role of a hapless aspiring firefighter, has some moments of slack-jawed charm. 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. From time to time an actor — usually Mr. Duchovny, Mr. Jones or Ted Levine, who plays a Pentagon heavy — will send up a tired action- movie or television-show commonplace: "Let's do this!" "It's payback time!" "Be careful out there!" But the spoofing of movie clichés has become a cliché in its own right, and beneath the hyperactivity of "Evolution" is an abiding laziness.

In a Darwinian universe, this is a dangerous thing. The biggest frustration in "Evolution" is that it squanders an interesting premise. The aliens evolve so quickly, compressing hundreds of millions of years into a few short days, that you can't help wondering what they will look like when they turn into us. But we never get past the angry apes.

Maybe in "Evolution II" the process of natural selection will be allowed to proceed further, and we can witness the full flowering of superior life-forms — or at least see whether they have it in them to make better movies than this one.
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5
OberratedOct 15, 2016
Going in, if you watched a trailer or were aware of the cast or story, you would already know that it is far from a serious tone aside from knowing it is a comedy. While I would definitely label it what I call "stupid humor", I enjoyed it forGoing in, if you watched a trailer or were aware of the cast or story, you would already know that it is far from a serious tone aside from knowing it is a comedy. While I would definitely label it what I call "stupid humor", I enjoyed it for what it was worth... Orlando Jones is by far my favorite part of the movie. Everything he says is comedic, even when it is purposefully meant to be funny or just straight shot. Some of his lines delivered made me laugh out loud when I was younger and even more so as I am older... At a younger age, I can clearly remember not being so critical of actors/actresses but now, quite the opposite, and I stand at an agreement as I always have been on Sean William Scott. He always plays the same character and has always gotten a simple pity laugh out of me as he always has. I can say I have only enjoyed him in 'The Rundown' but the constant stays true; he is the same character, different film.

Overall, ignoring a comical dumb plot and some forced "realizations" throughout the movie. 'Evolution' is still an entertaining flick for me to sit down and just turn off my mind too. Pure stupid entertainment and fun. Nothing special to go crazy for. Still an old favorite of mine.
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