Saturday, September 10, 2011

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is a silly but pretty good film

Three Stars

Here’s a rule of thumb for movie goers. If the film has a long title, there’s a big chance, it’s going to be silly. So, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is about everything you would expect from a movie titled “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. It starts with a lab. In this lab, in a big office building, is where they test chemicals on apes. Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who works with these apes, testing chemicals on them. He is determined to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. His father (the great John Lithgow) has it. When an ape goes on a rampage in the building, the evil head of the company (David Oyelowo) demands that the apes are put to sleep. Feeling that he can’t do that, Will takes home one of the apes and raises it as his own, watching his intelligence rise. We are treated to some really good graphics of the ape swinging through the house. He names the ape Caesar. We know that if this ape gets too smart, things are going to be bad.

Of course, things do go bad and Caesar ends up in an animal control center. This raises a lot of questions. If this is San Francisco, where did all these apes come from? That’s a lot of apes for California. Did they all escape? Did the budget for zoo security get cut? Ok, I have to remember that this film is titled “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and not Woody Allen’s 2012 Summer Project. This is one of those films where it’s better not to ask questions. This brings in Tom Felton, in a role that’s a little perplexing. Only because why would he want to play the jerk again after playing that little jerk Draco in the Harry Potter films. He’s a total jerk to the apes in this film. Of course, I have to say, it’s better not to ask questions.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a pretty good film. A popcorn film, which leads up to a big confrontation between the humans and the apes that goes on for like ten minutes. And big chase scenes with apes on the Golden Gate bridge. The apes are well animated, and look like real apes. The graphics are good. Of course, I won’t give away the end. Though, I have to say it does set up the squeal. I mean, yes, there’s some questions. Like when Caesar organizes the apes by passing out cookies. Where did he get the bag of cookies? Remember the children’s book, “Never Give a Mouse a Cookie”? Well, I guess you don’t want to give an ape one either.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is kind of silly. And yes, it’s trying to set up a franchise where the humans and the apes face off. Caesar’s a pretty smart ape. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention one more thing. Will gets a girlfriend named Caroline (Freida Pinto), who’s a primatologist. You know, all the scientists in films these days are beautiful. The scientist in “Thor” was Natalie Portman. I’m starting to think I went into the wrong profession. If I paid more attention in science classes back in high school, maybe I too could have dated a beautiful scientist but whatever. I guess what I’m saying is that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a silly, pop-corn, science fiction thriller where we know that us humans are going to have to deal with apes who want to rise against us. I suppose, we should treat these apes better. As you can see, I don’t really have too much to say about this film. Is basically is what it is. Though, I do think it’s about time for the San Francisco Examiner to do a big expose of apes escaping in California. I mean, ok. I’m sitting here analyzing a popcorn movie; up to the point that I’m thinking that a real newspaper should investigate a fictional problem in what is basically a big budget B picture. Darn, I really do have too much time on my hands. I guess it’s time to take up a hobby. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Oh, and that I did take up the wrong profession. Scientists get all the girls.

1 comment:

Salem said...

I would have to agree with most of your comments on the movie, although I did like it a little more than you. First off, I think making an "origin" movie was much better than trying to remake the original. The movie industry should start heading this trend.

For instance, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was horrible, but the prequel was good. It wasn't amazing, but it surely was a decent flick. Trying to reinvent the wheel on a classic just never seems to work out. At least going back to explaining how the wheel was made is usually more successful and interesting.

All in all, I'd have to saw RotPotA (which is a funny looking acronym) did get me pumped to see a sequel and mostly lived up to my hopes. I'm a little leery to say I haven't ever seen the original Plant of the Apes, because maybe that would change my opinion.