Saturday, December 10, 2011

Film Review - Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars James Franco as Will Rodman, a scientist for the Gen Sys company that is testing experimental drugs on chimps captured in the wild, one of which runs amok and is killed by the building's security but it turns out she bore a cub who Will takes home to his sick father played by John Lithgow who names him Caesar, and from there the legend begins.

Rise of the Apes wants to be the precursor to the iconic 1968 sci-fi film Planet of the Apes and in its defence it has an exciting action climax on the Golden Gate Bridge towards the end of the film but the film's script fails in almost every way to generate anything regarding excitement, imagination or feeling for anyone or anything contained in the film.

And it's a shame as there are some good actors, the biggest waste being John Lithgow, a seriously underrated actor reduced to mouthing "Caesar" and other sorts of gibberish as he's suffering Alzheimer's in the movie, as for Franco well he was fine but Frieda Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire is just pointless, she's okay but her role was just that of the thankless girlfriend cause hey we can't have a major movie without an attractive woman for the main male lead to go all goo goo eyed over now can we?


(Cricket noises)

Nope, didn't think so.

Moving right along, you're probably asking "what about those damn dirty apes?" well Andy Serkis is Caesar and he's fine but when you look at the original Apes in the 1968 film, they looked very life like and believable which makes the Apes here feel more like the CG creations they are.

And not only that, one of the locations is the California Redwoods, most famously used as the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi and boy oh boy was I reminded of that every time they went there.

Oh and last point, they shoe horn in the famous "damn dirty ape" line into the film and it falls completely flat, in the original Heston delivered it powerfully whereas here Tom Felton just delivers it like an actor delivering a line in a flat monotone, I suppose that could be said of the whole tone to the film now that I think about it.

All in all, don't watch this movie, watch the original Planet of the Apes instead, it's cheaper and will be more satisfying than this movie which is possibly the most boring movie I've seen all year, 1 out of 5.

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