It is quite easy to get fatigued by the action, explosions, and spectacle that the Summer blockbuster season can bring to the theaters. But for every Green Lantern and Transformers 3 there can be movies like Rise of the Planet of The Apes. This is a movie that drops the big dumb action flick mentality for a healthy mixture of eye candy and smart entertainment.
Rise of the Planet of The Apes abandons the series time traveling paradoxical roots and focuses on grounding the premise in a somewhat realistic world. There may be some Ape purists that feel this is yet another unneeded reboot like Tim Burton’s Planet of The Apes (2001) but the realistic grounding adds a certain weight to the story that was never seen in the sometimes campy previous movies. Rather than having Chuck Heston spilling vitriol to any “stinking ape” that comes near him we have a story about revolution in it’s truest form.
The man tasked with bringing this Ape Revolution to the screen is the supremely talented Andy Serkis who plays Caesar and the rest of the apes in the movie. Him and a team of artists have worked to create a fully realized CGI character whose expressions and movement earn him the leading role in this movie. Watching the interaction between the apes was truly a marvel and it blew my mind to find out that not a single real ape was used in this movie. I would not be surprised to see Serkis named along this year’s top actors for an Oscar for his role in this movie.
But this brings me to my only real gripe with this movie. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose but the humans in this movie all seemed to be cliched caricatures that have very little purpose other than to push the story forward. I found myself in tears during some of the heartbreaking ape captivation sections yet rolling my eyes at the false sincere moments that had humans as the main players. I wouldn’t say James Franco or the other actors did a terrible job, but I did find many of the lines stilted and delivered with little real enthusiasm. It seems almost as if the writers and director wanted to push the idea that this was a movie about the apes and that Caesar’s plight was the true focus of the film.
Rich’s Recommended Viewing:
Opening Weekend – At The Theater – Rent It – Watch It On Cable – Stay Away! – 4/5
I left the theater feeling a certain thrill that comes with a great movie-going experience. Any faults were forgotten but the ups and downs definitely melded together to create a whole that I would suggest to just about anyone from any age group. I had never cheered for the decimation of the human race more than I had during Rise of the Planet of The Apes and if that makes me an Ape-ist than so be it, we’ll see who gets a cushy house servant job once they take over.