It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I can't quite recommend "Evolution," but I have a sneaky affection for it. It's not good, but it's nowhere near as bad as most recent comedies; it has real laughs, but it misses real opportunities. For example, by giving us aliens who are sort of harmless, it sets up a situation where the heroes should be trying to protect them. But no. Everybody wants to kill them, apparently because the national psyche has reverted to the 1950s, when all flying saucers were automatically fired on by the Army.
Ivan Reitman, who directed the film, also made "Ghostbusters," and there are times when you can see that he remembers his earlier success all too well. Both movies have vast gaseous monsters, although only this one, keenly alert to the bodily orifice du jour, gives us Help! I'm Trapped Up the Alien's Sphincter! jokes. I have days on the movie beat when I don't know if I'm a critic or a proctologist.
As the film opens, a would-be firefighter (Seann William Scott) is practicing by rescuing an inflatable doll from a burning shack when a flaming meteor crashes nearby. Harry Block (Orlando Jones), a scientist from nearby Glen Canyon Community College, is called to investigate and brings along his friend, science instructor Ira Kane (David Duchovny). They discover the meteor has "punched through" to an underground cavern, where it is oozing strange, sluglike little creatures.
Kane and Block have a nice double-act together; like the characters in "Ghostbusters," they talk intelligently, possess wit and irony, and are not locked into one-liners. Jones even gets a laugh out of a significant nod, which is not easy in a film at this decibel level. I also liked how they came up with a popular drugstore item as a weapon against the invaders.