But Mulder, you don’t have dandruff

Evolution is a movie that even Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day would enjoy. Sure, he’d dismiss the evolution talk but there’d be plenty of humour for him to giggle at.

The movie opens with a meteor hurtling towards Earth. Once the meteor crashes, Ira (David Duchovny) and Harry (Orlando Jones) run out and secure the area as officials from the US Geology Society. Unfortunately, news of the meteor travels X-Files-quick to the US military who swoop in and really secure the area. However, the military has President George W. Bush’s IQ because, of course, they can’t do anything right. So it’s up to Ira, Harry and Dr. Alison Reed (Julianne Moore) to save the world with Head and Shoulders. Apparently the aliens are explosively allergic to Head and Shoulders’ active ingredient selenium. Score one for product placement.

Strangely, people aren’t anxious about the Earth’s impending doom. Viewers are treated to the rapid evolution of creatures beginning with unicellular organisms and ending in primates but the characters on screen keep grooving along.

While there are good solid laughs, the movie isn’t eager to force laughter. It’s about the right speed for an intelligent summer movie. Hell, even the science is remotely plausible–ask your biology teaching assistant about the possibility of nitrogen-based lifeforms. As for other leaps of logic, they remain a Hollywood invention.

Evolution is also Duchovny’s attempt to break out of the Mulder mold–and unfortunately, Evolution is a failed attempt. Basically, the movie answers what happened after he ditched Scully and the baby. However, this isn’t meant to knock his performance. Duchovny and Jones play their friendship well despite the clutter of unnecessary characters like Wayne the fireman and Alison the scientist. Harry’s desire to use the aliens as his ticket towards fame and fortune is much funnier than Alison’s habit of falling over a lot.

Among the noisy cinescape of bombs and hyperactive mummies, it’s nice to have an intelligent action movie and that shouldn’t be an oxymoron. In the end, Evolution doesn’t mark the beginning of a new movie era. Instead it’s a pleasant distraction from everyday woes such as party rebellions.

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