Film Review Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Director: Rupert Wyatt (2011)
Dear scientists, I accept Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that needs to be eradicated, but please please please stop using experimental cures on animals. First there was the Deep Blue Sea debacle where sharks turned into super Dolphins, killing several scientists, a bird and Samuel L Jackson. Not learning from this mistake, or rather not thinking the lesson through, you’ve gone and put smart juice into apes, well one ape to be exact, humanity stands on the brink. Dam you science, damn you!
Right, so with Rise Of Planet Of the Apes I’m going to do a full review, complete with rants, ravings and uneducated opinion, but first, I’m going to offer you, the reader, a summary so you can go back to whatever important life you believe you lead and ignore the ranting’s of a Happy Fingers Productions mad man.
Rise Of Planet Of The Apes is ok but makes no sense!
Still here? Oh right, guess I better continue then.
As mentioned the story is that an ape was given smart drugs as part of an attempt to find an Alzheimer’s cure by one of those GENERIC EVIL FACELESS drug companies that’s responsible for ALL SUFFERING IN THE WORLD EVER, said ape went crazy and testing was abandoned. Said ape apparently only went crazy because she had a baby and for some reason the principal scientist Will (James Franco) and the companies ape-handler Robert (Tyler Labine) decide that instead of telling the higher ups why the ape went crazy, they’ll just kill every other ape in the experiment and the scientist can raise said ape’s baby, naming him Caesar.
Caesar turns out to be under the effects of the smart juice, (Which means the scientists began their experiments without noticing that A, their test subject was pregnant and B, their test subject at some point gave birth) Caesar turns out to be remarkably intelligent so Will decides to steal drugs from the GENERIC EVILEST EVER drug company, testing them on his dad (John Lithgow who can make any role interesting). He then meets Caroline, (Frieda Pinto), a vet willing to see past Will’s lack of a chimp keeping license, willingness to test suspect and untried medicine on his vulnerable father and willingness to steal baby animals. The two fall in love, apparently, off-screen as about twenty minutes in Rise Of flashes forwards five years……….Pricks!
Caesar, now fully grown spends his days roaming round the house climbing and watching young children ride bicycles from an unnecessarily creepy window, John Lithgow starts to show early Alzheimer’s again, Caroline continues to ignore her professional responsibilities and it could all end happy ever after. Except Caesar’s a super intelligent chimp and pretty soon he gets taken away and kept in a chimp sanctuary, where Draco Malfoy tortures him until he leads the apes in rebellion.
I’ll get into the stupid later, but first I have to say the Cesar moments are engrossing, Andy Serkis who played Gollum in Lord Of The Rings provided the frame and the CGI really makes the character come alive. Watching him slowly climb the ladder of ape society and unite apes, a gorilla and a laid back orang-utan, is a lot of fun. There’s also a sufficient number of ape vs human fights, I defy any red blooded male to not watch a gorilla play chicken with a policeman on horseback without tittering!
But, while I do like Rise, and appreciate that it’s better than the usual animal disaster thorough fair, it pisses me off how little sense it makes, there’s a massive convoluted sub plot about a virus, and a guy gets infected in front of everyone, but no one checks up on him, even after he starts sneezing and coughing (And we all now a cough is the traditional way of preparing us for a characters impending death). Then, there’s the fact that the lead character is a moron, Caesar gets taken away, Will gets told it’s for a month, but when Will talks to Caesar he never bothers to tell him it’s only a month and acts like it’s forever. There’s this thing about the ape handlers where Caesar gets sent being false and mistreating the apes, but Caesar never bothers to tell Will this, at first it seems Will doesn’t know how badly Cesar has it, but then Will visits Caesar in this shitty little cage and doesn’t seem the least bit surprised. There’s also the most inane moment ever where Will gets frustrated at how reckless the GENERIC EVIL PROFIT DRIVEN drug company is being with their new untested drug, and states it could kill everyone, he literally tells them, carry on like this and you could destroy humanity, then to really make his point, he decides the smartest thing to do is resign! He doesn’t tell the police, go on T.V. to make his point, or take the head of the company hostage, he just resigns, and then forgets about it, as that sorts everything out.
Oh, and for absolutely no clear reason, the GREEDY HYPER CAPITALIST GENERIC drug company decides to test a new batch of smart drugs on the evilest looking ape there is, let me give anyone soldiering on with this review some advice, don’t give smart drugs to any animal with a scar on its face, a constant sneer or an aggressive attitude, it’s only going to kill you!
It all just smacks of convenience and lazy storytelling. The characters (except Caesar and John Lithgow) are all so one dimensional and unlikeable; everything seems to be done just so we get a Gorilla charging down an oncoming police horse. There’s no heart and soul to this film and it just comes off as an unnecessary sequel.
Which is what most Planet Of The Apes films have been, the audience never needed to know how the apes took over earth, the end of the first film (A classic) threw the prospect of a nuclear war in its audience face (A remarkably brave move for the time), and that was all that was ever going to be needed. None of the Planet Of The Apes sequels really accomplished much and often they made even less sense than Rise Of (Or were unbelievably shit, Tim Burton take a bow!). I really hope Rise Of is the last, but judging by comments friends of mine have made such as ‘this is the best film I’ve seen all year’, there’ll be sequels to this, I’ll be open minded about it, but throwing Gorilla’s at Police equipment will only work once, there’ll need to be a coherent plot next time.
Written By Sam ‘I have dirty paws too’ McKinstrie