**.9 GM
Starring: David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott, Julianne Moore, Dan Aykroyd, Ted Levine


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Maybe director Ivan Reitman was trying to make another "Ghostbusters" without actually making "Ghostbusters III: Ray Stantz Sure Is A Hefty Gent These Days, Ain't He?" with "Evolution," but it's hard to fault him for that. Dammit, the world needs another "Ghostbusters." Every time I watch that film, there's something new to laugh at, some way Bill Murray moves, some twitch in his face, some glare from Egon, some subtle dumb thing from Aykroyd that makes it all worthwhile again. So I'm all for another film of that quality. The problem is that this flick ain't quite it. For starters, David Duchovny ain't no Dan Aykroyd, Orlando Jones ain't quite Bill Murray. Julianne Moore, while as foxy as she's ever been, ain't Harold Ramis... and dude, where's Ernie Hudson?

This isn't a bad flick, really. Two city college professors (Duchovny and Jones) stumble onto an meteor crash site, discover alien life evolving rapidly and threatening to destroy life on Earth, and they go to goofy lengths to stop it, much to the chagrin of General Walter Peck of the EPA... er... General Woodman (Ted Levine), who's in charge of the army detail around the place, doesn't like Duchovny and is a pecker.

It's entertaining, and there are little flashes of "Ghostbusters"-quality potential here and there, but it doesn't quite strike that precarious balance between comedy and special-effect-scariness that it needed to. Nor was it as funny as it needed to be. Duchovny's good at doing that standard monotone wisecracking thing he does, Jones (or as I refer to him, "SCHLITZ MALT LIQUA!") seems to be a genuinely funny guy and has his good bits and Moore makes a pretty good klutz. Seann William Scott, I can't help but like because he plays such a convincing tool all the time, and he's pretty affable here as the tool that sorta stumbles into the situation. But even the appearance of Aykroyd as the governor doesn't quite bring it to the right level. In fact, Aykroyd was so good here that it kinda just served to remind everybody that the film isn't up to snuff. But it's reasonably close... almost enough to think that a sequel might iron out all the kinks and they could possibly make the grade.

Then there's stuff like "Blue monkey! BLUE MONKEY!" that's dumb enough to make me giggle on principle. There's fun to be had, but just not enough to make me happy.

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