Monday, April 30, 2012

Rise of the Planet of The Apes Makes You Care About Monkeys

As a new month approaches, Scary Film Review will start to take some constructive criticism to heart. I will stop just titling things as reviews, and will try my hardest to post more often, and not just recommendations, lists, and things of that nature. Here we go, a new leaf, same design.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out to much dismay of yours truly, but it seemed to garner some significant praise from viewers, and after a lot of ducking and dodging, I managed to sit through it and was relatively impressed with how they made it all work. First and foremost, James Franco can really throw you into an emotional loop, and the computer graphics for once made me a believer in technology on film.

The movie starts slow, very slow, as we are taken into a prologue of how the other movies are or were to come. We are thrown into a lab for animal testing, where we see apes being tested, and their reactions. Throughout this process we are amidst science that is not too unlike what we are seeing around the world. Anyone that subscribes to Wired magazine can attest to that. The testing seems cruel, and after a while we get a reference to Congo, as one of the apes becomes a sort of pet to James Franco’s character.

There are always problems when you adopt a monkey as a friend, and we get this true to life “Curious George” style reaction to friendship, and when the monkey strikes a neighbor, the reality of what could happen turns out to be true to life. The story moves into a place where the authorities want to put down the monkey, but instead they move him into a warehouse full of others, and we see evolution play out.

The story moves fast after the initial 1-hour set up. That’s right, you have to wait an hour to set this story to where you’re going to end up. The science fiction elements get out of hand and the apes smarten up, but they don’t smarten up to a comedic standpoint like the first films from the 70’s. We do get that classic line “You damn dirty ape” but it’s not the same.

Overall the story is a bit slow, but when the action sets in, you really get a feel for what’s going on and it is a classic example of how science can really pose a threat to use. The story goes nuts in the third act, and the final act kind of drops the users off a proverbial cliff and you’re left with an opening that could make for a second film, if the producers want to move forward with the trilogy all over again.

I didn’t like the film too much, but it was entertaining enough. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is far better than the last time they tried to remake the film series, and it really does put a lot of drama and human emotion into the process. I didn’t hate it, and I think it will find many fans enjoying it on Blu Ray, as the visuals do deserve a second look. I won’t watch it again, but you animal lovers will love it and maybe even shed a tear like those that liked “War Horse”, which I didn’t.

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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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