Monday, January 30, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

2011, Rupert Wyatt -- download

Like Graig, I was somewhat surprised to find out this movie was being made.  I am sure it was sold to the studios as an attempt to wipe out Tim Burton's place in the film chronology with a reboot in mind. Reboots are in dontchaknow.  I am actually somewhat of a fan of the Burton piece but more as a standalone post-apocalypse movie with Tim Roth being as nutty as ever.  The 12 year old in me also loved he original movies and especially the series, which amused me even then by being shot in an area of California that also had dozens of other TV shows and movies being shot -- that BC was used for this movie, considering the province's place as backdrop currently, is strangely appropo.

The Rodman character, the scientist seeking a cure for Alzheimer's played by James Franco, bothered me even if it was all intentional. He knew he was creating a very very intelligent ape but his agenda was testing the cure for his dad's disease.  He knew he was saving the baby from being put down by taking him into his home.  But I don't think he knew he was also introducing Caesar into an emotionally intelligent state.  There were so many times I wished Rodman would have just explained to Caesar what was going on. Human beings can be quite shitty to each other as well.  It was all as if Rodman hadn't quite realized that uplifting an ape would create a person.

While the movie seems to have been advertised as a setup for the breakout, and thus the probably much more action oriented sequel, this one was really about the middle act.  This movie was about Caesar realizing exactly how shitty humans can be.  The fact that Rodman didn't know that the apes he used in research came from the same place he was dropping Caesar off at, just added to his willful ignorance.  But the whole section in the cages, the prison drama amongst his lesser brethren, is compelling and dramatic. I would have liked to see more scenes of Caesar wandering around between the conservatory and the lab, to establish he is seeing more than the three worlds he knew but it really did want to rush to great apes pushing buses and knocking helicopters out of the air.