Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011]

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Cast: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton
Genre: Science fiction
Rating: General
Comment: "You might forget that you're watching a movie with CGI apes..."

After half a decade of working on a cure for the Alzheimer's Disease, Will Rodman (James Franco) is finally ready to test it on humans instead of apes. Unbeknownst to him, the cure actually does more than just repair the brain cells, but also "improves" them rendering the apes to possess human-like intelligence as well as some other humanly attributes. And we all know how human nature covet freedom and power more than anything else.

What to Expect
1. Old school Sci-fi given a modern day treatment
2. Cool action sequences... with apes
3. Solid performances
4. Morally ambiguous

What NOT to Expect
1. Continuity from the original Planet of the Apes [1968]

They sure don't make Science fiction like they used to. I mean, in the old days, you could tell stories about a guy gaining superpowers by getting caught in a nuclear explosion and people would still eat it up. I know I can be a bit finicky when it comes to accuracy as well, but that doesn't mean I can't allow my imagination to run wild. With that being said, I absolutely love how the essence of this movie felt old-school but it had the benefits of the 21st century technology in film-making.

No gorilla or chimp suit this time...
A problem immediately apparent in the theatre was how divided people can be. You see, you would have to be a bit of a nerd or a geek to take this movie seriously, because it neither poked fun or parodied its source material. There were people who giggled and heckled the movie, while there were people like me who watched it attentively, complete with some oohs and aahs.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you have to snort back a laugh at the idea of primates leading a revolution, you probably would find it to be a bit silly and wouldn't enjoy it as much.

I have to admit, though. When I first heard about the movie, I had no idea how they're going to pull it off. Planet of the Apes [1968] was a story about humans being enslaved by apes, while this one was more of an origin story. How would they make it fun to watch without making it feel like Spartacus [1960], starring apes?

They did a rather spectacular job, I must say. Although Tom Felton was still pretty much Draco Malfoy, there was no clear villain in the movie. The movie was pretty ambiguous in that aspect, and they justified the apes' need for a revolution by making us relate to them instead of going for the traditional Good vs. Evil formula.

Asshole alert!
As always, James Franco gave a memorable performance, even though this time around he didn't stand out like he always did. Not entirely his fault. In fact, forget James Franco, much of the praise I would reserve for Andy Serkis, despite not actually making an appearance, his performance as the protagonistic chimpanzee, Caesar, can actually move you. But again, this is only if you're able to take the premise seriously to begin with.

Then there was the action and boy it was gooood. I really hope that this movie will be commercially successful enough to earn it a sequel or two, because I got the feeling that the action hinted that this was just the beginning, and we only saw a glimpse of the primates' abilities.

Should you go see it?
Yes for geeks and nerds. For the rest of you, maybe. There's a little bit of everything in this movie; love, loyalty, friendship, the value of freedom and a couple more that might have escaped me as of right now. But it was all so well done, you might even forget that you're watching a movie with CGI apes.


Saiazuan said...

arghh.. knape la ctr ni time ramadhan.. malas nk g tgk time puasa2 ni

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

aik? Why not? tengok je la...?

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