Saturday, February 13, 2010

Movie Review: Evolution

Evolution
Rated PG-13
4 Slimes
Copyright DreamWorks Pictures 2001

THE CHARACTERS

Dr. Ira Kane: David Duchovny! A discharged army professor now turned teacher, who makes the discovery of the alien goo from the meteor. He should not be in charge of making medicine at all. Anyways, he and Allison hook up (literally) at the end of the film.

Professor Harry Phineas Block: Orlando Jones! A college professor who makes the discovery with Kane about the alien life forms. He doesn’t have the best luck since a bug crawls into his skin and he is sucked up an alien’s ass. Don’t ask.

Wayne Grey: Seann William Scott! He is the first one to discover the meteor when it literally almost hits him. He is trying to become a firefighter and he also has a terrible singing voice that attracts monsters. He becomes a full fledge firefighter after everything is all over, but I don’t know how the events of the film qualify him for anything.

Dr. Allison Reed: Julianne Moore! She is the head scientist in charge of the government operations into the aliens. She does not have any good coordination skills and ends up, for some odd reason, hooking up with Kane.

Brigadier General Russell Woodman: Ted Levine! He the government official in charge of the alien operation in movie and is the mortal enemy of Kane. He doesn’t like to listen to people and refuses to take good advice from anyone that disagrees with him and his views.

Deke and Danny Donald: Two of Kane’s underachieving students. Despite their stupidity, they ultimately are able to provide the key weapon in killing the aliens.

Governor Lewis: Dan Aykroyd! Do you need to know anything else?

Aliens: These aliens are extremely fast ,evolving creatures from another world that have many, MANY, different stages of evolution. They start off as one celled starfish and ultimately evolve into extremely large multi-celled starfish. The utlimate final creature blows up in the end.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Evolution does not take millions of years, just a couple of hours.
+ Blue liquid evolves into blue goo.
+ When aliens die, they deflate.
+ Starfish creatures are the first and last steps in evolution.
+ Fire is evolution steroids.
+ Volleyball coaches are allowed to shower with the female players.
+ Shotguns and shampoo are free if there are aliens attacking.
+ Remember, sometimes the only thing stopping an alien takeover is your dandruff shampoo.
+ You can lose a dragon inside of a mall.
+ Giant alien starfish are made of Nickelodeon slime.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
2 min – The match didn’t even go inside!
3 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CAR AND SHED!
13 min – Wow! Look at all the blue starfish thingies!
17 min – Wuss.
28 min – Is that government talk for screwing them over?
30 min – Ouch. You may need to start sucking up to the judge now.
32 min – So? All of this means is he shouldn’t make medicine.
37 min – I got nothing. Let the creatures speak for themselves.
46 min – Well at least you weren’t killed by an evil lawnmower.
50 min – DOES THAT EVEN LOOK LIKE DOG YOU IDIOTS?!
57 min – So this is what it looks like after the end of Dragon Wars.
65 min – Oh come on, you need a better alien song than that!
69 min – What? Who was guarding the place?!
71 min – Whoa, I’m getting a Congo flashback. Also, shoot it! You have guns!
85 min – Yeah so what was your plan to deal with everything else?
87 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A JEEP!
89 min – HOW THE HELL IS THAT SIMPLE?!
93 min – Well that’ll be a pain to cleanup. Oh well, it's the government’s problem now.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Harry Block: Great googa-mooga!

Ira Kane: [Referring the alien creature] Snag it!
Harry Block: Snag it?
Ira Kane: Yeah. Come on, snag it and put it in the bucket.
Harry Block: I've seen this movie, the black dude dies first. YOU snag it!

Ira Kane: Let's shampoo us some aliens!

Ira Kane: Ira Kane, head of the science department, Glen Canyon Community College.
Harry Block: Harry Block, United States Geological Survey.
Wayne Grey: Wayne Grey. I took some chemistry in high school.

THE PLOT

I remember seeing the commercials for this film and it seemed interesting, even if I didn’t get the whole evolution part of it. Now the director of this film interestingly did Ghostbusters, Kindergarten Cop, Stripes, and to a lesser extent, Cannibal Girls. That was the point in which I knew I just had to see this film.

The film begins in Glen Canyon, Arizona, where firefighter trainee, Wayne Grey, is practicing for his upcoming firefighter exam. While he is doing so, with a blowup doll no less, a meteor comes crashing down and smashes down into an underground cavern. This crash grabs the attention of Dr. Ira Kane and Prof. Harry Block of a local college community, who decide to investigate it.

They arrive at the scene and descend into the cavern. They find the meteor and start breaking off pieces for study when they discover it's bleeding blue kool-aid! Then they decide to take a sample of it! No you fools! Haven’t you ever seen what happens to people when they mess around with a substance from a meteor!?

Kane starts researching the ooze under a microscope and discovers that there are hundreds of single cell (Or starfish cells as I observe) organisms in the liquid! Not only that, but they are splitting and multiplying at an extremely alarming rate. Kane gets Harry to come to the lab and when he arrives, they discover that those starfish cells have become multi-celled organisms. Wow, this version of evolution is quicker than Pok√©mon’s version is!

The two of them are extremely excited about this and decide to head back to the site with Kane’s science class. They all discover that there are now extraterrestrial fungi and flatworms that have now sprouted from the liquid in the meteor! The fungi is creating this strange dry ice looking gas that acts as a modified atmosphere for the flatworms, since otherwise, the oxygen of Earth just kills the worms. Science is a sure strange thing.

Kane and Harry take two of the worms back with them in a glass jar to examine and then they discover that the worms are able to do mitosis (they are able to split in half and produce another exact copy for those who don’t know what mitosis is)! While this is going on, some of those little worm things start popping up by the country club where Wayne works until he becomes a firefighter. Not only that, it appears that the worms have evolved now into a swimming frog thing with teeth. Now all together, ‘That’s not good!’

Kane and Harry return back to the site to do some more investigating and discover that the government has shown up now. The person in charge of this operation now is Brigadier General Russell Woodman, who Kane used to work for in the Pentagon. Since Kane was discharged, Woodman has been keeping tabs on him by tapping his computer, so when he heard about the discovery, he and his team came to rush in and take credit, along with his science researcher from the CDC, Dr. Allison Reed.

Kane and Harry are barred by the courts to not come back to the crash site and the government also steals all of their research up to this point. I seem to remember some of this happen in the The X-Files and in an episode of SVU as well. Glad to see the government acts like a jackass in other shows too.

Despite all the government protection to prevent the alien life forms from leaving, they are still popping up all around the area, like with an alien killing Wayne’s boss at the country club before it keels over due to suffocation. While this is going on, Kane and Harry break into the military’s setup over the crash site, disguised as a colonel and a private. It’s good to see that in this whole government science lab that everyone is completely stupid and oblivious.

Both of them end up being caught, but Allison allows them to leave without getting in trouble. When the two scientists get back to the college, Wayne is there waiting for them with the alien corpse from the country club. The 3 men discuss the situation and then hear about another alien sighting near the edge of town. They head over and discover something even bigger in the desert valley behind the house. It is a whole bunch of dead dragon aliens! Seriously, these aliens now look like dragons, minus the fire breath! Evolution is such a complicated and strange theory.

If you thought it was getting worse, well it is about to get even worse than you could imagine. One of the dragon aliens pukes out an egg (Ever seen Tremors 2?) that hatches baby dragon alien that can breathe perfectly in the earth’s atmosphere and it can fly as well! So the dragon flies off and ends up crashing at a mall. Why is it that killer things of all kinds always go to attack people in a mall?

Kane, Harry, and Wayne head to the mall and kill the dragon with the shotguns they are able to loot from a store (Where the heck did the store owner go?!). The 3 of them head back to the government site and tell Woodman about all of the chaos going on. They reason that the aliens are escaping through the underground caverns connected to the one the meteor crashed into and they demand that the army destroy the aliens.

Woodman and his team agree to, only after Governor Lewis & Allison tell him to and when the aliens almost take them out themselves. However, Woodman puts the blame on Kane and Harry for letting the aliens escape. Are you crazy?! How is it their fault that you guys didn’t plug up all the damn holes?! Well that is the final straw for Allison, who decides to help out our three heroes by giving them her research and their old data that was taken.

So the four of them are researching the issue and trying to think of a way to kill off the aliens. While they do so, they discover that fire actually increases the growth and evolution rate of the aliens (This is discover when a match touches the blue goo Kane collected earlier). The problem with this is that the army is planning on burning the aliens with napalm! Whatever happened to just nuking a menace? Why did they now decide to get creative?

With this new knowledge, the team has to figure out another way to kill the creatures. Through kindergarten chemistry (I really mean that), they discover that the creature’s weakness is selenium, which is found in Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo. That’s right, dandruff shampoo is the weakness of these aliens and this was ultimately discovered by Deke and Danny, two of Kane’s below-average students.

The characters, with the two students, load up a fire truck (How did they get it?) with a lot of shampoo and head out to the area. Unfortunately, the army sets off the napalm earlier than expected and ultimately, this causes the final stage in evolution for the creatures. They and everything else evolves into just one gigantic, killer, blob-like, starfish! I can’t make that up!

Despite the large odds, the group rushes at the beast and actually shoves up a hose from the truck into the creature’s butthole. They then spray the shampoo up the giant starfish ass (Did I just really type that?), which causes it to explode! Damn! Don’t mess with Head & Shoulders shampoo! So, with that, the day is saved and the governor honors the heroes, Wayne becomes a real firefighter, Kane and Allison hook up, the two students get A’s, and our three male heroes star in a commercial for dandruff shampoo.

That was an unbelievable movie. It was just so whacky and insane that it was just amazing and a great time to watch. This has to be the best movie I have seen a long while. The acting was great (Though David is a bit stiff in his performance for a few moments), the special effects were incredible with very impressive looking CGI to bring the creative aliens to life, the humor was great, and the story was enjoyable. A few jokes may drag on for a little bit than they should and there are a couple stupid and illogical moments, but that doesn’t stop this film from being a great experience.

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