Friday, August 26, 2011

Scotter & Apes 2: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was fabulous. It is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. I am willing to put it up there as my favourite film of this year and possibly my third favourite movie next to Inception and The Dark Knight. It is an incredible film that portrayed The Planet of the Apes franchise in near perfect form. This is what all those other movies should have been.

- The story had more depth than the Pacific Ocean. It was an emotional story that was propelled by character and plot rather than special effects and action. Pure amazing story telling.
- The apes were marvellous. Never have “Serkis folk” looked so amazing. The motion capture in this movie puts Avatar to shame. And speaking of Andy Serkis, the king of motion capture was absolutely amazing as Caesar, as were the other actors portraying great characters such as the wise old orang-utan, Maurice and the creepy chimpanzee, Koba. I sincerely hope they bring back Koba as a potential villain for the next films. Interestingly the name Koba was an alias of Stalin before he took power. Do I smell a Russian Revolution allegory?
- The science in this movie was some of the best I have seen from any blockbuster. The original series wasn’t exactly accurate, but then again, this was before people actually gave a damn about the believability of sci-fi. The use of a retrovirus (a virus that alters the genetic code of an individual eg. HIV) was unexpected but it was exactly what the doctor ordered (oh, the irony). The apes were portrayed with amazing realism, with obvious behaviour differences between the various species seen. My favourite scene was the climactic bridge sequence where Caesar used the strengths of the three kinds of apes to his advantage, commanding the orangs to attack from below, the chimps from above and the gorillas to push a bus as a barricade to the humans’ gunfire. These moviemakers did their research.
- I wanted the movie to keep on going so badly. It just had to. I remember sitting in the theater hoping that it wasn’t over yet. On the bright side, it made a shit load of money and got good enough reviews it probably will get a sequel!
- The human actors were not really in it much. Although this wasn’t too bad, it became something of a bummer when I saw amazing actors like Brian Cox and John Lithgow given such little screen time (although Lithgow was great as the Alzheimer’s ridden father of Franco’s protagonist). The chick was almost unnecessary. She could have been cut out and it wouldn’t matter.
- There was a bit of the forcing of references to the old series. The worst was Tom Felton’s “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!” and Caesar’s subsequent shouting of “NO!” This fell a little bit into Narmville (go to TV Tropes and look up narm) and at that moment I was afraid for the movie but it soon rose back up to awesomeness.
- Tiny plot holes. Like, why not bring in the army to shoot the fuck out of the apes? I kind of realized that if the San Francisco PD called up the army and told them that apes were attacking the army would be all like “are you kidding me?” and hang up, so that was my rationalization.

The Verdict?
Acting: ****
Plot: *****
Effects: *****
Truth to Source: ***

Overall: *****

This is the kind of movie I would want to be a part of. This is the movie that made me realize I want to become a film actor just so I can play an ape. I’ve already been a superhero. Now the plan is to be a chimp.

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