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This Sci-Fi Comedy Is The Most Under-Appreciated Film Of Ivan Reitman's Career

“Evolution” arrived in theaters in 2001, although it was met with a disappointing reaction back then. It holds a 44% critics rating against a 47% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Rob Gonsalves gave it an incredibly poor review for eFilmCritic.com back in 2008, writing “Part of the problem with ‘Evolution’ — aside from the fact that it isn’t really very funny — is that it’s mostly jaded; there’s very little gee-whiz, almost no awe.” Ouch. The film follows a group of scientists who investigate a meteor that crashes in Arizona, only to spawn a number of dangerous aliens that quickly cause chaos in the nearby town.

It features “The X-Files” star David Duchovny as lead scientist Dr. Ira Kane, alongside Julianne Moore’s Dr. Allison Reed and Orlando Jones as Dr. Harry Block. Sure, it’s a similar set-up to “Ghostbusters,” but with an alien threat instead of a ghostly one — Dan Akroyd even appears as a United States Army General — but it still works a treat. Dreamworks Pictures and Columbia Pictures were clearly impressed with it at the time, because it even spawned an animated series based on the film.

“Evolution” has become something of a cult film in the last few years, as critics have looked at it with fresh eyes. Reel Film Reviews called it “an ideal example of how to do a summer movie right,” while Charlotte Sometimes Goes to the Movies wrote that it’s the “kind of mid-budget science fiction comedy they just don’t seem to make enough of any more.” 

It’s definitely worth rewatching “Evolution” — if only to honor the late Reitman.

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