It doesn’t make it any better when I try to watch something like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
I have a fondness for the original slate of Apes films. The original is still a solid film to watch. Those films are far more sparse and you don’t fall victim, as an audience, to expecting an immersive film experience so much as a late Saturday afternoon matinée.
That said, I will tell you straight out that I favor the apes in the 1968 movie. They are obviously much more low tech, but they resonate more with me. The eyes are real.
In the new version, Caesar gets little sympathy from me.
The movie is not the story of the slave Caesar from the movie Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Son of future ape-scientists Cornelius and Zira, and hidden away in the circus; eventually to become the catalyst of an ape revolution.
Sure, it sort of sounds the same as the new movie. Caesar is the catalyst of an ape revolution, that’s for sure. However, this movie does it closer to home.
No far-flung future. Just regular old Corporate greed and individual selfishness are at the core of this ape revolution.
Does any of that even matter? Probably not. As long as the apes rise up, right? That’s what we really want to see. Revolution. Change. The end to slavery and mistreatment of the metaphoric little guy.
You get all that, sort of. It’s just that it feels like the script writer’s precocious child did much of the work on this one. The logic failures are so numerous as to make anyone a mite dizzy.
Let’s face it, when they put James Franco and Tyler Labine right up front at the beginning, I realized they were making a comedy. This conclusion is only cemented when we get introduced to John Lithgow, Alzheimer’s patient, pianist (stop giggling) and father to scientist Franco, who looks like a cross between Don Music and Charles Nelson Reilly. Circle gets the square!
Every step of the plot is moved along at a pace that doesn’t happen in the shipping industry, much less when creating a new cure for disease. The scientists are sloppy beyond reckoning and the dialogue is atrocious.
Let’s not forget the image of little baby Caesar in swaddling clothes being secreted away before the King, I mean CEO, has him put to death.
I could go on; it just baffles. The cure comes in convenient hand-held gas dispensing containers. The cure affects all ape species….except humans, which it kills like an aggressive airborne virus. That’s a new twist, isn’t it? Ah, humanity, will you ever learn…TO MAKE A WELL-CRAFTED MOVIE?
Even the bloody field of battle at the end is sanitized for film. Devoid of blood and bodies, for the most part….
…..except for my favorite gorilla, Gorilla John McClane.
GJM saved Caesar on the bridge, then flung himself off the bridge at the helicopter which was shooting an automatic rifle at them. Now that’s good cinema.
I could probably enjoy the film despite all that. However, the very crux of the movie is the ape-saviour Caesar, whose mother is killed. She is killed for attacking a handler. Sadly, it turns out that Caesar’s mother, Bright Eyes (the callbacks in this film to the early franchise are sad and almost intentionally antagonistic; hardly worth a mention), has come to full term with ape-child and was only defending herself.
That’s right, kids. The scientists curing Alzheimer’s and getting ready to move to human trials….WERE NOT AWARE THAT THE TEST SUBJECT WAS PREGNANT.
This is the face of the new Apes franchise. It’s no wonder the apes won.
I just dare you to watch.
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review (fringefiction.wordpress.com)
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