||This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
|Directed by||Ivan Reitman|
|Produced by||Daniel Goldberg
|Screenplay by||David Diamond
|Story by||Don Jakoby|
Seann William Scott
|Music by||John Powell|
|Editing by||Wendy Greene Bricmont
|Studio||The Montecito Picture Company|
|Distributed by||North America:
|Running time||101 minutes|
Evolution is a 2001 American science fiction comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott, Julianne Moore and Ted Levine. In the United States, it was released by DreamWorks and internationally, by Columbia Pictures.
The plot of the film follows college professor Ira Kane (David Duchovny) and geologist Harry Block (Orlando Jones) who investigate a meteor crash in Arizona. They discover that the meteor is harboring extraterrestrial life which is evolving very quickly into large, diverse and outlandish creatures.
Evolution was based on a story by Don Jakoby, who converted it into a screenplay along with David Diamond and David Weissman. The movie was originally written as a serious horror science fiction film, until director Ivan Reitman re-wrote much of the script. Shooting took place in California with an $80 million budget and the film was released in the United States on June 8, 2001. The movie grossed $98,376,292 internationally. Reviews for the film were mostly unfavorable, as the movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 42% positive rating.
A meteor crashes into the desert near Glen Canyon, Arizona. College professor Ira Kane (David Duchovny) and his colleague, geology professor Harry Block (Orlando Jones), investigate. They meet Wayne Grey (Seann William Scott), a fireman trainee whose car was damaged in the strike and discover the meteor deep in an underground tunnel network, taking a sample of strange blue liquid that oozes from it. Ira discovers that it harbors extraterrestrial single-celled nitrogen-based organisms multiplying exponentially, condensing millions of years of evolution within minutes. The next day, they take the science class to survey the meteor site and find it already surrounded by evolved oxygen-converting fungi and alien flatworms, later discovering the cells and organisms reproduce rapidly through mitosis.
Soon Ira and Harry find the site sealed off by the Army, who have set up a base. They take General Russell Woodman (Ted Levine) and clumsy Dr. Allison Reed (Julianne Moore), who dismiss the duo, to court for the right to be part of the research. However they are barred from the site when Woodman reveals that Ira was discharged from the army for creating an anthrax vaccine that led to terrible physical disorders. When Woodman confiscates their research, Ira and Harry infiltrate the base underground to get another sample and find an alien rainforest teeming with life. Reed apprehends them but they are interrupted when an alien insect gets inside Harry's body, which has to be removed rectally by a doctor.
Wayne recovers the dead body of an amphibian alien which killed a country club owner and another creature that had appeared in a woman's house but also died. Ira and Harry theorize the aliens are escaping the caves to adapt to the oxygen atmosphere. The trio find a valley strewn with dead and dying dragon-like creatures, one of which gives birth before it dies. The young creature, adapted to the oxygen atmosphere, flies away to a mall. The trio procure shotguns at a store and chase it, killing it by drawing it in through Wayne's singing on the mall's sound system and shooting it. They then celebrate their heroics in the car back to the research lab.
The Governor of Arizona (Dan Aykroyd) demands to know what is happening. Allison explains that in two months the aliens would engulf the entire United States, so Woodman explains his plan to evacuate everyone within five miles of the infected area and bomb the aliens with napalm. The aliens, now evolved into primate-like creatures, climb up from the caves below and attack them, but are fought off.
Fed up with working with Woodman, Allison gets Ira's stolen research back to him, joining his gang at the college as the town is evacuated. There, Harry accidentally tosses a lit match into a petri dish of the blue alien liquid, causing a mass to rapidly grow from it: they realize that heat triggers the rapid evolution which would mean that the napalm would have a much more devastating effect. Looking at the position of nitrogen on the periodic table, Ira concludes that selenium might be poisonous to the aliens, since they are nitrogen-based, as arsenic is poisonous to Earth's carbon life. Allison calls Woodman to prevent the napalm strike but Woodman ignores her. Ira's students Deke and Danny (Ethan Suplee and Michael Ray Bower) recall that selenium sulfide is the active ingredient in Head & Shoulders shampoo.
The team empties stores of the shampoo and steal a firetruck. Everyone pours the shampoo into the truck's water tanks, while Allison and Ira bond. The napalm strike begins early however, triggering a gargantuan amoeba-like organism to bulge out from the caves and kill the caves' other aliens; it then begins to divide to start the process over. The team decides to push on despite this set back and drive the firetruck under the organism, where they find a rectal hole. Harry climbs the firetruck's ladder and inserts the firehose to pump in the shampoo, causing the organism to explode. Governor Lewis declares Ira, Harry, Wayne and Allison heroes, making Wayne a firefighter while Ira and Allison skip the festivities for romance in the fire truck. Harry, Ira and Wayne then appear in a commercial for Head & Shoulders.
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The three-eyed smiley face used as the logo of the film in marketing was borrowed from the comic book Transmetropolitan. Producers had to get permission from DC Comics to use it and were licensed by Smileyworld Ltd., owner of the smiley face trademark, to use it for advertising and commercial purposes.
During the lengthy shooting in Page, Arizona, Dan Aykroyd entertained locals by checking ID cards for guests at a bar, greeting people at Wal-Mart, and visiting locals for a cup of coffee in their homes. Because the film was shot (but not set) in December, DreamWorks asked the locals to delay putting up their Christmas decorations. Following the shoot, DreamWorks paid the city employees overtime to decorate the town in time for Christmas.
All of the on-campus, classroom, lab and professor's office scenes were filmed at California State University, Fullerton, in Fullerton, California. The building used for the movie was Miles D. McCarthy Hall, which is home to the College of Natural Science and Mathematics.
The clumsiness of Julianne Moore's character was her idea. The three main male characters perform a commercial for Head & Shoulders at the end of the movie; Ivan Reitman's son Jason came up with the idea. As part of the commercial they each hold out a bottle of Head & Shoulders. Harry Block (Orlando Jones) holds his out backwards.
- David Duchovny as Colonel (Ret.) Dr. Ira Kane, PhD.
- Julianne Moore as Dr. Allison Reed, PhD.
- Orlando Jones as Professor and Coach (female volleyball) Harry Phineas Block
- Seann William Scott as Wayne Grey
- Ted Levine as Brigadier General Russell Woodman
- Ethan Suplee as Deke Donald
- Michael Bower as Danny Donald
- Pat Kilbane as Officer Sam Johnson
- Ty Burrell as Colonel Flemming
- Dan Aykroyd as Governor Lewis
- Katharine Towne as Nadine
- Gregory Itzin as Barry Cartwright
- Ashley Clark as Lieutenant Cryer
- Stephanie Hodge as Jill Mason
At the time of release, the film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 43% based on 134 reviews, with an average score of 4.9/10. The consensus on the site states, "Director Reitman tries to remake Ghostbusters, but his efforts are largely unsuccessful because the movie has too many comedic misfires."
TV series 
See also 
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Evolution (film)|
- Evolution at the Internet Movie Database
- Evolution at AllRovi
- Evolution at Rotten Tomatoes
- Evolution at Box Office Mojo