Retro Review: Evolution

“Ghostbusters: meets “Men in Black”, Hollywood tackles another science-fiction comedy.

A meteor slams into the earth narrowly missing a fire fighter recruit (Seann William Scott). The meteor brings out two college professors (David Duchovny, Orlando Jones) to investigate the impact.

The professors chip away at the meteor and bring back samples to their university. The meteor fragments are like nothing they have ever seen before. Before the two college professors realize there is a problem with the meteor fragments, the “impact” site is covered with government officials. Ted Levine and Julianne Moore are among the scientists called in with the military.

“Evolution” is the perfect summer movie for teens and nostalgia buffs. It’s brand of comedy isn’t as vulgar as a lot of the other comedies released this past year. It embraces director Ivan Reitman’s formula of goofiness with the military and science fiction like he did with his runaway hits of the 80’s classics “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters”.

It is utterly uncanny how many similarities there are in this film and “Ghostbusters”. Duchovny’s movement and charisma reminded me a lot of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters”. Julianne’s reluctance to Duchovny’s childish advances were a lot like what Murray and co-star Sigourney Weaver’s did in their scenes. The scenes where people shriek and runaway from the ghosts are here as the aliens come upon some unsuspecting suburbanites. Even the slime slowly creeps in but that would be giving too much away.

“Ghostbusters” was a huge hit in 1984 becoming the highest-grossing film of that year. “Ghostbusters” went on to become the highest grossing comedy in history until it was taken down by “Home Alone”.

I always wanted a Ghostbusters 3 but in some ways this film is almost a third one. It would have been incredible if they did bring in the original Ghostbusters cast for this flick. It may have been a lot funnier. I really wanted this film to have more laughs and more creatures.

I really fell in love with the “Ghostbusters” formula and science fiction laughs. On that alone I could have given this film a higher grade but it was the ending and the discovery of how to stop the aliens that really made me angry at the film’s writers.

After all that great lead up and comedy you end it with this? I was so disappointed with the lack of creativity and settling they did on this ending. I hope there is an alternate on the DVD.

The best scenes involve the aliens and man’s reactions. It’s a shame these were all seen in the trailers. The shopping mall scene and the rectal examination were by far the most entertaining scenes.

Originally this film was supposed to be a “horror” film like I would assume “Mimic” or “The Relic” but the studio decided to bring in Reitman to inject some humor. The film was reconceived and its what we have today. Does that story have any ramifications or influence on what made this film become what it is? Let me know your take on this.

3.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

Written: July 14, 2001

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