Saturday 6 April 2013

A to Z - Evolution

Today I'm moving on to 'E' in my A-Z of movies - I know a lot of people did E yesterday but I'm skipping Fridays to make room for my flash stories. I got a bit stuck for E, as it happens, but I wound up choosing Evolution.

Evolution was a stab at alien sci-fi by Ivan 'Ghostbusters' Reitman, and stars David Duchovny and Orlando Jones as a pair of hapless college professors who discover a new lifeform evolving on earth after a meteorite crashes into an Arizona cave system. Unfortunately the government also find out, and soon their attempts to document the obvious evolution are stymied by Julianne Moore's government scientist. It's not long before things get out of hand, and Duchovny and Jones have to come and lend a hand to save the world.

It's a daft, silly film, with a sideline in fairly immature humour, but still, it's an enjoyable watch. David Duchovny plays Ira as if Mulder never fully grew up, but Julianne Moore displays a comic touch that you don't normally get to see in her movies. Even Seann William Scott isn't that annoying as the aspiring fireman who ends up getting embroiled in the 'let's save the world' plan.

For me, the best part is the 'science' behind it. Studying the idea of evolution at school is one thing, but seeing it visually demonstrated from a single-celled organism into insects and eventually mammals, while clearly not based on reality, is still a neat idea, especially since it's the heat of the earth's atmosphere that provides the catalyst for such evolution. My favourite part has to be the sequence in the shopping mall, where the invading entity reaches the 'dinosaur' phase and attains the power of flight. It's like Jurassic Park meets Dawn of the Dead.

As films go, it was never going to be an Oscar winner, but as light entertainment goes, it's the kind of film you can drop into whenever you find it on TV somewhere. Everyone turns in solid performances, especially Moore, and I can think of worst films I could have nominated for 'E'.


John Wiswell said...

I re-watched it last year and was surprised at how nicely it held up. Exactly as you said, it's silly and daft, but in a pleasant way, and it uses its engine of accelerated evolution for quaint thrills. That Selsun Blue product placement saves the day is still funny to me.

Tony Noland said...

I saw that one, actually. Mostly it was because I was a David Duchovny fan.

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