Directed by Ivan Reitman
Written by David Diamond, David Weissman, Don Jakoby
Starring David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones



Am I the only one who cares that the basic premise of "Evolution" is so stupid and biologically incorrect that any fifth-grader with a C average in Our World And Its Life could spot the fallacy of it? This is a film which postulates that alien ooze carried to earth on a meteor will quickly evolve from single-cell organisms to multi-cell worms, then reptiles (including velociraptors), and then mammals (including apes), all of which happens in three days despite their being a supposed nitrogen-based life form as opposed to our carbon-based one.

Okay. I got that off my chest. "Evolution"s' other problem is that it is too literal to be funny and too far fetched to be believable. Which leaves us with, well, a strong candidate for stupidest film of the year, and maybe the decade, though it's a little early to say. Why did decent actors like David Duchovny and Julianne Moore, and a formerly competent director named Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters") bother with this one? Some questions simply cannot be answered.

Duchovny and Orlando Jones are teachers in an Arizona community college. Duchovny, whose character had a bad experience while working on anthrax vaccines for the military, teaches chemistry and biology to a class where all but two students get As. The others, two hefty brothers, get C-minuses for their identical two-sentence papers called 'Cells Are Bad,' referring to prison cells. If the film had only stayed with humor at this level it might have had a chance. Unfortunately we are off to fight the aliens, and it's all downhill from there. Do our boys and girl defeat the slime? Do they outwit the federales in order to do it? Are they heroes at the end? Is there a Santa Claus? Of course.

But before we get there, we must wade through bad writing, poor direction, and more film clichés than belong in any ten movies. Everybody's given a little tic: Moore trips a lot and walks into glass doors. Jones deserts his academic speech for an Amos 'n Andy squeal whenever he's in danger. Duchovny, whose low-key wit and nice-guy-next-door looks should move him up in the Hollywood leading-man hierarchy, must play straight man to both of them. And so on. It's embarrassing, and it all adds up to - well, actually, a big zero.