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Evolution
DVD disk
Oct 9, 2004 By: Mike Sampson
Evolution order
Director:
Ivan Reitman

Actors:
David Duchovny
Julianne Moore
Orlando Jones

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A gang of misfits discover alien lifeforms on Earth, but must act fast before aliens try to take over the planet.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
After watching this DVD you'll see that a lot of work was put into making this film. I only wish it paid off more. Ultimately, the film smacks of a cheap MEN IN BLACK/GHOSTBUSTERS rip-off with stale comedy and ho-hum sci-fi action. Some of the nods to GHOSTBUSTERS (also directed by Reitman) were so obvious you could see things coming a mile away. There's Ted Levine as the General who is the Walter Peck of this film. He even gets soaked in the bad guy's goo at the end just like Peck from the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man. At least try to come up with something new, guys...

Blame none of this on the film's stars though, all of whom do the best they can with the material, but it just isn't there. Duchovny does a decent job of playing an anti-Mulder in charge of the operation. Julianne Moore does her best to shed that serious image but her character was a vaudevillian klutz, walking into closed doors and tripping over nothing. That joke got old real quick. You knew that there was going to have to be that Duchovny/Moore love-interest sub-plot and of course, there was, but unfortunately that's didn't work either. As for the rest of the cast, Orlando Jones has the delivery right but his jokes were tired and overwritten. Seann William Scott was the only one able to squeak a few laughs out of me. Luckily, the special effects were pretty awesome because otherwise, there'd be nothing here at all. As a comedy, I didn't laugh and as a sci-fi-thriller, I wasn't in suspense. They said that the script was originally written as a straight sci-fi thriller but Reitman bought the script and had it rewritten to play up the comedy angle. Eventually the humor seems forced and the film never gets off the ground.
THE EXTRAS
I didn't think there was a audio commentary on this disc but in fact, there is. It's disguised as A Conversation with Ivan Reitman, David Duchovny, Orlando Jones and Seann William Scott. I was pleasantly surprised to find this little goodie and it was actually an interesting treat. The actors all seemed to get along great and besides a few "oh so-and-so, you were so good in this scene..." moments, it was a fun listen.

The visual effects featurette was my next favorite extra simply because that stuff interests me. It was a well put-together documentary about all the CGI-effects used to create the aliens and how Special Effects Supervisor Phil Tippett (JURASSIC PARK) worked with Reitman to coordinate this with all the on-screen action. I only wish it were a little longer. Unfortunately, the cool extras pretty much end there. The deleted scenes are so-so (take one look at the alternate ending and you'll know why it was cut) and while the storyboard-to-scene comparison was semi-interesting, it would've been nice to hear some commentary over this feature as well. The rest of the disc is filled up with the standard, boring features like cast/crew bios, production notes and promotional stills.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I wanted to enjoy this movie but I just couldn't get into it. I had also hoped the DVD would be chock-full of cool extras to help ease the pain, but I was let down there as well. There's a lot of talented folks involved with this film but sometimes you just need more than that to make a film work. My advice would be to rent this one after you've seen everything else and drink a few beers beforehand. That might make it a little more fun.
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