Is Rise of the Planet of the Apes a good, action-y prequel to Planet of the Apes or a 90 minute PETA ad in disguise?
I’m not sure IT even knows what it is.
Read on, after the jump
So, here are some details on the film which don’t really drop any more spoilers than you saw in the trailers:
A guy (played by James Franco) is developing an experimental drug. He feeds that drug to a chimp which, in response, gets wicked smart. Skip past some spoilers (And Draco Malfoy) and we get to the part where the monkey is pissed and decides he’s not gonna take it anymore.
At this point, the chimp releases the super sauce upon a whole group of apes because he realizes that they’re all as dumb as…well…a bunch of apes. Right after this, a bunch of monkey business ensues and the apes escape from captivity and commence to flinging poo at everything that moves.
Also, gratuitous use of line from original movie.
So now we have a pack of pissed off apes, running around the city, wrecking shop and creating havoc wherever they go (and why wouldn’t a few dozen smart apes running around a city create a bunch of calamity?) and let me tell you, folks, this ain’t your garden variety monekyshines we’re talking about here, this is parking meter hurling, spear-chucking ass-kickery with a side of right turn, Clyde.
I know what you’re thinking…You’re thinking “Wow, that sounds like a raucous and rowdy fun time, full of beat-downs and gorilla poop” but, unfortunately, that’s mostly far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that it took an hour and 15 minutes of the just-over 90 minute movie to get to anything good. Everything before that was just an animal rights commercial with some “meh” CG. Where the original films were about man’s struggle against the tyranny of the apes, this movie was about the ape’s struggle against the tyranny of man…They flipped the entire script on us.
So, no…I didn’t like it. I felt that it was pretentious and contrived and that the movie capitalized on the name in an effort to release a public service announcement on the evils of animal testing and how we’re going to get what’s coming to us if we keep being mean to our fine, furry friends.
Sorry but that’s not what I signed up for. I came on board to see the monkeys act like jerks and be mean and evil, finally overcoming mankind in some way, to become the dominant force on the planet (of course that’s alluded to at some point but I don’t want allusions and inferences, I want wholesale warfare…deadliest warrior style…with an extra helping of Curious George bitch-slapping people with banana peels). Instead, I got “man, that dudes a dick, I can’t wait for the monkeys to fold him up like a hanky”.
All in all, the effects are ok but the lead ape, “Caesar” isn’t CG-acted very well. His facial expressions are often contrary to what his body posture and actions indicate and he looks way too pissed off in many situations. I think they could have done a better job. The sound effects were decent but there wasn’t anything really hard for them to do so…that’s to be expected. I just don’t see this movie as anything great…or even “good”. Sure it passed the time but I could have phoned in for a mani-pedi, used the hour and a half getting my fingers and toes buffed and rubbed down and been WAY more satisfied at the end without even having to drop an extra 50 for a handski.
I say save your money on this one. It’ll make a fair rental but it’s not worth all the hullabaloo.