Planet of the Apes Rises and Surprises

Movies and Television

Quelle surprise! Rise of Planet of the Apes was a watchable popcorn flick.

Peer Pressure

Pinto and Franco © 2011 20th Century Fox

I really thought Rise of Planet of the Apes, henceforth to be known as RoPA, would totally suck. IDK Something about the familiar story, fear of shitty CGI and questionable action just made me nervous. See also, the last Planet of the Apes.

I took a look at Flixster and was impressed that both audiences and critics gave RoPA a passing grade, so I took a chance for my Saturday morning matinee. (Blogger on a budget; Whataya want from me? – if I may quote Adam Lambert.)

In the plus column, the movie has a lot going for it:

Familiar story: Typically a downfall, this made the movie easier to exposit and set-up, introduce the characters and what this story would be.

Quick pace: Because there wasn’t a big learning curve, we quickly jumped through much of the Science-fu to get to how the Apes got smart.

Acting: James Franco (Spider-Man series) and Andy Serkis (Gollum, Lord of the Rings CGI-fame) both deliver some interesting performances, considering what they’ve been given. Brian Cox, the girlfriend et al. were sorta just there, wasted.

Effects: The Ape creature effects were convincing and well-done, as was the lack of 3D. I say that because everything keeps going to that well needlessly and at least RoPA didn’t.

All in the eyes for Serkis' Caesar © 2011 20th Century Fox

In the downside column, yeah .. nothing is perfect:

Memes: Little heavy-handed with the pro-animal, no testing, humans are selfish pieces of shit lectures.

Script: The dialogue and the characters were weakly developed.

Sequel baiting: Yeah, a hint here, a wisp there is one thing. RoPA kept on and kept on repeating a significant storyline that was unresolved, in efforts to set up a sequel. That was crap.

Final Snark: Like I said .. decent, watchable enough to accompany some over-priced popcorn.

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