Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Media

Review: Evolution 83

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the pseudo-science-vs-good-taste dept.
Ivan Reitman's latest film Evolution stars David Duchovny and the Make Seven Up Yours guy in a reasonably entertaining rehashing of Ghostbusters featuring more butt related jokes then any movie without Adam Sandler. Decent CGI and action sequences are available too. Nothing that will warrant awards in this day and age, but it might entertain you for a few minutes. There's much more to be said about this, so keep reading if you want to know what I think, or just want to complain that I'm sharing it.

Our main characters are misfit scientists led by Duchovny who is as stone cold as ever playing Ira Kane. Along with the Make Seven Up Yours guy, they are teachers at the local community college. Ira has a cloudy history and Mr. 7-Up has no future (unless you count coaching the women's volleyball team). They don't quite fit in at the university, and they are busy hitting on the ladies (no, they don't administer shock therapy based psychic tests, but they might as well have).

So we've also got Stiffler's Mom's Son Seann William Scott playing the dummy wanna be firefighter who discovers the meteor that crashes out in a field in their desert town. The scientists go to the library and collect slime samples. Oh wait, no. They go to a cave and collect biological samples. Sorry, my bad. It's immediately apparent that the meteor contained some strange new life form (10 base pairs!) that evolves much faster then our pathetic (4 pairs!) earth life forms do.

Of course the government has to be called in led by a mean old general and the beautiful Julianne Moore who's slumming it playing Allison Reed, the military scientist who reveals that Duchovny and her go way back. She's probably the best actor but she doesn't really do much funny stuff except fall and bang into doors. I found it super strange watching her act this way. I hope she was paid very well for this part. Or at the very least, had tons of fun making it.

The plot progresses obviously with... Evolution! The alien life forms evolve from yellow mushrooms and worms into new exciting computer animated monsters. Our trio of heros continue to fight the authorities as well as these strange new monsters that wreak havoc on the small town. And despite the differences between Dana and Venkman, the sexual tension continues to grow. A great minor part by Dan Akroyd provides several good laughs- his delivery can still make a scene even when his lines aren't the best.

The computer animation and special effects is all reasonably good. But I didn't feel like it broke ground like it's stepbrother did. In Ghostbusters, the groundbreaking special effects advanced an entertaining plot and developed interesting characters. In Evolotion, effects no better then any film we've seen in the last few years advance a tedious plot and develop bland characters with obvious quirks taped onto them.

Allright, after all that cynicism, I have to say that I actually enjoyed a lot of the movie. Besides the obvious numerous parallels between this film and that "Other" movie, we've got a few pretty good action sequences, and a ton of jokes, and some of them are funny. Some of them don't involve asses, butts, colons, or farting! And the movie builds up to an exciting climax where the good guys must execute the biggest butt joke of all and destroy the stay puft marshmellow man, or their town is doomed.

But I laughed out loud many times. The movie has many awkward parts (random pauses for laughter which never came in the audience I was sitting in, characters explaining things like idiots which is supposed to be funny, but isn't) but check your brain at the door, forget you saw Ghostbusters, and have some fun. This film isn't going to innovate special effects. It's not going to have characters that we're going to remember in 15 years. It's not going to have scenes that you and a group of friends can quote verbatim after 3 beers. But you'll probably have fun for an hour or so. And the effects are good enough that it's worth seeing on the big screen.

In short, if you miss it, don't sweat it. But if you go, you'll probably have fun. And try to count the ghostbusters parallels while you go. Then make a mad lib and construct your own Ivan Reitman special effects blockbuster script and see if you can sell it to Dreamworks.

Oddball Offtopic Side Note For the first time ever in Holland, a total stranger noticed the Slashdot t-shirt I was wearing and asked for an autograph when I fessed up to who I was. Even tho he was the dude selling the tickets, it didn't get me in for free :)

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Review:Evolution

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know, that stupid fake CNN page about Don Knots playing Emmanuel Goldtstien wasn't funny the first time, and it sure isn't any funnier now that it has been posted for the 9283749238472394th time. If you happen to think that it is funny, please do the world a favor by ingesting a large amount of Drain-O, or at least remove your testicles so you are unable to reproduce. This may sound harsh, but I assure you, it is for the good of humanity.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok - Ghostbusters had a ton of great quotes, but only one in this movie sticks out in my mind. Doctor 1: Ok, I'll get the lubricant. Doctor 2: No! There's no time for lubricant. Seven Up Yours Dude: There's always time for lubricant! --That last line kept popping into my head as one of my co-workers told me "Hey, Glen wants to see you in his office, now." my reply (she hadn't seen the movie yet): "There's always time for lubricant."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    good evening sir, my name is steve, i come from a rough area, i use to be addicted to crack but now i am off and trying to stay clean, that is why i am selling magazine subscriptions. wait wait, you used to be addicted to crack? i am sorry, i dont know anything about any money laundering.
  • ... and I also sorta remember, at the time, reviewers making moderately similar comments to yours.

    Face it. You're getting old. Movies don't mean the same thing to 15 year olds now, as they did when you were 15.

    Can't you tell?

  • ...it's a mildly funny movie, worth the time to go see (whether or not it's worth the money is another matter entirely), but nothing fantastic. It was fun to watch, I'll probably rent it and watch it one more time in my life, and that will be sufficient. Summer popcorn movie and nothing more.

    LOTS of sci-fi references, though. 2001 and Ghostbusters have been pointed out, but I was seeing Andromeda Strain through the whole thing. A friend of mine said it reminded him of some radio program he heard as a kid.

  • by Old Man Kensey (5209) on Saturday June 09, 2001 @03:32PM (#163891) Homepage
    cosmo7 wrote:

    One of the clips showed a weird multi-segmented bug with stilt-like legs, very similar to one of the weird fossils in the burgess shale.

    I think I know the one you're referring to -- it has stiff spines on one side and little knobblies on the other. The story I heard about it is that scientists decided the spines were the legs and came up with all kinds of wacky theories about what kind of environment such legs would be advantageous in.

    Until one day some guy came along and said "Fellas, that's the top half." And all kinds of theories went bye-bye as biologists scratched their collective beards and went "y'know..."

    I have no idea if it's true or not, but That's What I Was Told (m*tt*!)

  • Don't forget that this movie had the most blatant product placement that I can remember seeing in ages. I now keep a bottle of Head & Shoulders on me at all times to fight my two worst enemies: those damn dragon things in the mall, and my dandruff.
  • Just to go OT here... I thought it odd that in fifth element they decided that Freakishly Complex Genetic Structure automatically implied Artifically Engineered Organism...

    In the recent film Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe, they examined a cell sample of a monster and found it only had a single pair of genes, and since our genetic code was largely evolutionary leftovers, this meant that this was an artificially engineered organism. I found that to be a more satisfying line of reasoning than Greater Complexity == Crazy Genius Science

  • I was hopping for a review of the mail client.

  • Even worse, the number of base pairs has nothing to do with the rate of evolution :-)

  • Was I the only one disturbed by the blatant product placement with the dandruff shampoo I'll fail to mention here at the end?
  • SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK.

    Oh my god what a horrible film. Yes, it has a few funny moments. So do my bowel movements. I'm serious, it's that kinda funny. Like this laugh of relief, of, "Oh god, thank you for bringing me a joke that wasn't as horrific as the last fifty I've had to listen to."

    Avoid! Run away!
  • Perhaps he was a very happy man who lived in the swamp?

    --
  • by sharkey (16670) on Saturday June 09, 2001 @05:06PM (#163899)
    with a minute off to check spelling!

    Come on, give him a break. That's the most time Taco's ever given over to spell-checking what he's posting.

    --
  • YES!!!! There it is. Completely forgot he had that small part is that classic movie. Snootch.

    Bryan R.
  • by BRock97 (17460) on Saturday June 09, 2001 @11:18AM (#163901) Homepage
    Taco, man, come on. The dude's name is Orlando Jones [imdb.com]. Funny guy from The Replacements [imdb.com] and not a bad actor. Next time, might want to do a little more research, as that type of thing makes it look like you wrote the review in 2 minutes, with a minute off to check spelling!

    Bryan R.
  • by Pope (17780)
    Here's the real movie news of the summer: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back! [moviepoopshoot.com]
  • I'd coach women's volleyball anyday :D
  • Hi, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack but now I am off it and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.
  • In fact, if you want a CGI vehicle, watch a real one. For all of the critic's complaints about butt-jokes in Shrek, I thought the movie was great. The script wasn't up to Toy Story standards, but the rendering was the best I'd ever seen, the sound track is fantasitic, and the parody jokes were hysterical. So, for an anal-fetish CGI move, skip Evoloution and hit the kid's movie instead. -m
  • The only reason I can think 10 base pairs would be better is that each pair would encode more bits. If you stretch your disbelief slightly, you could say that a single base pair changing would be a greater change in terms of bits changed (ie greater Hamming distance)... but I doubt that could account for evolution quickening very much.

    Re no of base pairs: it just has to be divisible by two. (If it follows the kind of pattern that life on earth provides.)

    I don't know where you got the squares from...
  • by Myxx (21264)
    I wish to God people would stop idolizing Kevin Smith. His movies are interesting, but not remarkable. He should stick to writing essays and op-ed pieces instead of masquerading his mental debates as dramatic or comedic dialogue. I guess everyone has a need to feel that what they are watching is deep and important and while his movies are deep, they are certainly not important. Give us some classic character development and plot solidity.

    ----------
  • I saw this last night. It was OK, but disappointing. I wouldn't bother wasting my time seeing at the theater, but it's a good renter. There were probably more laughs in the American Pie 2 trailer, which may have been the best thing about seeing it at the theater.
  • It amazes me how computer people like Taco always think they're smarter than Joe Average. It's ironic that they can't even follow the simplest plot elements:

    It wasn't Julianne Moore's and David Duchovny's characters that went way back. They just met in the movie.

    TED LEVINE's characer and David Duchovny's character went way back. They were at the Pentagon together.

    (sigh)
  • Don't forget his work on MadTV. He was my favourite guy on that show.

    The Slashdot guy's running reference to him as "the 7Up guy" bugged the hell out of me, too.

    I also don't trust Mr. Slashdot's reviews either. I'll probably drag my GF to it and I'll probably enjoy the hell out of it.
  • with a minute off to check spelling

    Yes, I think Mr. Slashdot has his spelling checker configured to replace every instance of the word "than" with "then".
  • ...but check your brain at the door, forget you saw Ghostbusters, and have some fun.

    And try to count the ghostbusters parallels while you go.

    While I go where? To the nuthouse? I go to the movies to be entertained, not to contemplate CmdrBuddha's confusing axioms.

    < tofuhead >


    --
  • by CAIMLAS (41445)
    Besides the fact that parts of this review were so poorly written I had a hard time understanding what he was saying, this review was far superior to those of Jon Katz. I mean, really - Katz would have ripped the film up and down for being unscientific, foolish, immature, etc. I seriously doubt the film's intent was to be that type of movie. Mr. Taco there, he looked at it and said, "Entertaining film, worth your time, but could have been better." Honest, straightforward, and not a PITA.

    I'd rather read Taco's reviews over Katz's. I try and avoid reading Katz's reviews if I haven't seen the movie yet, since they generally sour the experience for me - even if I enjoy the film. Bastard.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • The idea that we're supposed to think is that it hold more genes and information. Just like in The Fifth Element.

  • Like Josie and the Pussycats wasn't?

  • So you know something I don't? Please share.

  • Thank you! Hello! People! At the very least, he's the Office Space guy...
  • Life on earth has four different nucleotide bases in DNA/RNA, meaning that we have _two_ different base pairs (C-G and T-A, or U-A in RNA). So I guess that the goofy movie aliens actually have twenty different bases and ten base pairs? Hmm, I kinda wanted to see this movie, but all the reviews have said that it's either so-so or incredibly awful. Guess I'll wait for the video...
  • Well, the movie never says it does. Duchovony's character just uses that to establish that the organisms are alien.
  • Please, if they're trying to get it right, like Mission to Mars (ugh! the science in that gave me a headache!) we can have this discussion. But for films involving Sean Aston Williams Scott McBain, can we please dispense with them?
  • Yes, the complete absence of foreigners in a foreign-led and run war wasn't conspicuous, was it?
  • They never said it did
  • At least they made fun of it at the end ...
  • Might I recomend Women's tenis as well ... HIGHLY recomend ...
  • So true bro ... so true Ghostbusters (sadly?) defined me as a person
  • That's where Jones made his big debut. And don't forget the other actors. There's that guy from Road Trip. And what's her name from Boogie Nigts.
  • Actualy there are still 4. C-G and G-C are unique. That's because only one side of the DNA ever codes for anything useful. The other side is the negative so copies can be made. (Note the 'useful' side can be different for different genes) so (A-T)(C-G)(A-T) and (A-T)(G-C)(A-T) code for two completely different amino acids. Each base pair still encodes for two bits of data, not one.
  • by NRLax27 (123692) <NRLax27@@@aol...com> on Saturday June 09, 2001 @02:18PM (#163928) Homepage
    Taco's from Holland, Michigan.
  • Actually Cast Away was written before any deal was struck with Fed-Ex. They actually had to ask them for permission and FedEx was reluctant because in the movie the plane crashes, and no FedEx plane has gone down before.
  • Then it should have been "Orlando Jones (7up commercials, mad TV, Office Space etc.)" but I think its disrespectful to the actor and to the people reading the review to reffer to an actor like that.
  • I guess I only see a problem with product placement when it seems we're being encouraged to buy the product or service, and not just because it appears in the film. Stephen King used to get credit for including real-world product references in his books - it was something that made it seem like the events were happening in our world (when was the last time you saw a pack of Morley cigarettes for sale at the 7-11?) Who is going to leave Evolution thinking "I've gotta get me some Head and Shoulders!"?
  • Check out "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" by Daniel C Dennett. I like Dennett's concept of who and who isn't looking for "skyhooks". Dennett really gets across the idea that you can't pick and choose which bits of evolutionary theory you apply, you have to ollow through all the way.
  • no FedEx plane has gone down before.

    What do you call what N611FE did in EWR in 1997 [aol.com]?

    I mean, okay, it was landing already, and "any landing you can walk away from is a good landing," but still...

  • I have no idea if it's true or not

    Hallucigenia sparsa. The Smithsonian seems to agree with you: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/paleo/shale/phallu.htm [si.edu].

  • Ok, hello dude. Way to take the joke WAY too seriously. Can't a comedy poke fun at the movie industry as well? I personally thought that was one of the funniest parts of the whole movie! I am sick and tired of seeing Apple laptops used to crack into secret government installations, or control equipment in an observatory. I mean, come on. The movie industry has been doing really dumb product placements for years. This is one instance where a movie made fun of that practice.
  • For the first time ever in Holland...

    I swear I sat there looking at the for a while wondering what Taco was doing in the Netherlands (or rather, what he's not doing in the Netherlands).

  • I think you mean gorillas. At least I /hope/ you do. A guerilla is somebody who participates in guerilla warfare or the use of guerilla tactics and after evolution they probably don't look like the apes from 2001.

    Ever get the impression that your life would make a good sitcom?
    Ever follow this to its logical conclusion: that your life is a sitcom?
  • Taco, man, come on. The dude's name is Orlando Jones. Funny guy from The Replacements and not a bad actor.

    Yeah, and I recall seeing him referred to as the make seven up yours guy in reviews for that movie too. In mainstream media magazines, no less. So what's your beef?

    Ever get the impression that your life would make a good sitcom?
    Ever follow this to its logical conclusion: that your life is a sitcom?
  • Also, as others have noted, from Mad TV [imdb.com]. For crying out loud, though, don't get your lingerie in a twist; I think that That Reviewer Dude was making a point about what he's currently known best for. I'm still waiting to see or hear from Phil Lamarr, Pat Kilbane, or that guy who did all the actor imitations.
  • Looks to me like he was talking about his pr0n pics not the meteor ones.
  • She's very pretty to
  • I wish to God people would stop idolizing Kevin Smith. His movies are interesting, but not remarkable. He should stick to writing essays and op-ed pieces instead of masquerading his mental debates as dramatic or comedic dialogue. I guess everyone has a need to feel that what they are watching is deep and important and while his movies are deep, they are certainly not important. Give us some classic character development and plot solidity.

    Or, a better idea.. how about you quit watching them and let us have our fun.. jeez.. what did he kill your dog or something? Lighten up.. ;)
  • Hey Mr.-Guy-That-Runs-\-.,

    Can I get your autograph too? (It's for my kid!).

  • It's Hollywood afterall. How often can Hollywood portray anything in an accurate fashion? *coughPearl Harborcough*. Saving Private Ryan is the only recent movie that I can't remember finding any flaws in (overlooking, of course, that its plot is fiction). Then again, I'm no historian.

    (upon double-checking my spelling I noticed that that was "Perl Harbor". heh.)

    "// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

  • Ah. True, true. I overlooked that, good call.

    "// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

  • What, you never saw "FedEx Man meets the Wilson Volleyball" (um, I mean Castaway)?

    1. is this.....is this for REAL? [mikegallay.com]
  • by grovertime (237798) on Saturday June 09, 2001 @11:31AM (#163947) Homepage
    Of course the government has to be called in led by a mean old general and the beautiful Julianne Moore who's slumming it playing Allison Reed, the military scientist who reveals that Duchovny and her go way back. She's probably the best actor but she doesn't really do much funny stuff except fall and bang into doors. I found it super strange watching her act this way. I hope she was paid very well for this part. Or at the very least, had tons of fun making it.

    To be fair, I am going to see this movie just for Julianne - she rules. Her role in Magnolia was a revelation. But it should be clarified, that she does a ton of comic work, and anyone who is interested should check out her biography on imdb.

    1. is this.....is this for REAL? [mikegallay.com]
  • Hallucigenia sparsa - don't you love the name?

    ikanakattara
  • As I understand, AT/TA, and CG/GC are different; i.e., you have four bases, (A,T,G,&C) and thus four base pairs, (AT, TA, GC, & CG) each of which is distinct. Mind you, I'm not an authority on this.

    Anybody want to explain to me why 10 bases would be better? And how, mathematically, can one end up with 10? Wouldn't a perfect square like 9 or 16 make more sense?

  • One of the clips showed a weird multi-segmented bug with stilt-like legs, very similar to one of the weird fossils in the burgess shale. There's a Richard Dawkins book all about it called Wonderful Life.

    (I wonder what Dawkins thinks about the movie).

    Ah, you mean like this little beasty?
    Or these?
    Do a search for Pycnogonida (Sea spiders) and enjoy
  • Her bit part in Ladies Man was great.

    And the entire "End of the Affair" movie was hilarious...Too bad they were going for drama.

  • Not to be rude, but the Taco ended my interest in both this movie and his review with this early sentence:

    "Decent CGI and action sequences are available too. Nothing that will warrant awards in this day and age, but it might entertain you for a few minutes."

    Sorry, life's too short for crap that "might" entertain me for a few minutes. There is so much good stuff and even great stuff out there, who has time for a half-baked Duchovny CGI vehicle?
  • what do expect?
  • Ducovny turns on his computer after finding his laboratory wrecked. After entering a password, his computer says "Searching for files..." "Files not found!" I believe after that he makes the remark about them stealing his "hard drive and JPEG files"
  • One of the clips showed a weird multi-segmented bug with stilt-like legs, very similar to one of the weird fossils in the burgess shale. There's a Richard Dawkins book all about it called Wonderful Life.

    (I wonder what Dawkins thinks about the movie).

  • I share in your lament as to the lack of respect Orlando still gets. If you ever saw him on MadTV you would realize what a knack this guy has for comedy. I've been waiting for him to make a break in the movies like he has started to do recently. When I saw him on Late Night with Conan last night i was surprised at how down to earth Orlando seemed. I expected some kind of David Arquette over-the-top kind of attitude but he was very mild-mannered and still quite funny. I really think Orlando is going somewhere and it won't be long before his real name is a household one.
  • I don't see why it is funny to say that someone has Dow's syndrome. I suppose it is easy to do though since you aren't logged in.
    Some people in these threads need to realize that these are the comments that make the un-net saavy say "its all the internet's fault" in response to the social problems that are growing in america.
  • What a lame piece of crap. Is David Duchovny really that hard up for work?
  • The most blatant product placement I ever saw was in "Mission to Mars."

    "Quick, use this Dr. Pepper, which I will throw across this zero-G room as the camera tracks its progress, to find the leak in our ship!"

    "Let's drive our Pennzoil-sponsored Mars rover to the other site!"

    But the worst was when Gary Sinise and son are sitting in the treehouse at the beginning, and I SWEAR the camera slightly changes position to get a better shot of the Dr. Pepper sitting next to the kid.


  • I would not have known whom he was if he had been refered to as Orlando Jones. I know who David Duchovny is though.

    By saying the Mr. 7-UP Yours guy. I knew exactly whom he was writing about. Of course, I do agree that it would have been nice to have said something like "Orlando Jones, also known as the 7-UP Yours Guy."
  • Actually, I am the could-care-less-what-the-name-of-most-celebreties- are-as-I-have-better-things-to-do-than-watch-tv-al l-day-guy. So, who are you?
  • It's too bad you listen to what reviewers say. You seem to be missing the point of movies in general, and comedies in particular: to have fun. I saw it, I thought it was really cool. The "It's a Ghostbusters knock-off because it was directed by Ivan Reitman" is a load of bull. You can play the similarities game with every movie out there. Does that stop you or anyone else from going?
  • Looks like a perfect 4097-point landing to me...
  • I saw this movie twice already, and I don't remember seeing anything having to do with Common Gateway Interfaces.

    I loved this movie. You even get to see Mulder's ass.
  • Saw the movie last night with my 3 kids. Not particularly impressed but there were some funny moments here and there. The one thing I did notice was the obvious references to 2001. The way the meteor gets implanted into the ground makes it look like a monolith. The clean room suits look like the space suits that Dave wore. And the evolved guerillas look a lot like those apes near the beginning of 2001. Any other 2001 references that I missed?
  • See comment. Great book might as well credit correct auther. Dawkins writes some good stuff too. Dawkin's is more of a gradualist while Gould is more into punctuated equilibrium.
  • Still misspelled marshmallow tho.
  • I saw it too. I wouldn't say "It's a Ghostbusters knock-off because it was directed by Ivan Reitman", I'd say "It's a Ghostbusters ripoff because it's exactly friggin' like Ghostbusters" is more appropriate. It was fun, but it was also almost identical both in plot and style to Ghostbusters.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.

Working...