Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

This movieaday blog has provided me with many opportunities to express certain my feelings about movies in (hopefully) no uncertain terms.  When I say that the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes was one of the worst movies I ever saw and forever turned me off of delving deeper into the decades-long franchise, I hope that you understand how difficult it was for me to actually sit down and watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  Tim Burton has ruined so many things for me, and I was hoping that this film would be at the very least watchable, let alone entertaining.

When it was first announced that James Franco was going to star in it, I thought Franco had finally trolled us all, and I stopped paying attention to the existence of the movie until, well now.  Sometimes I enjoy going into a movie not having a clue who is starring in it, that way I can be pleasantly surprised at the familiar faces I’m seeing.  John Lithgow, Tyler Labine and Brian Cox fall into that category, and just a regular surprise was seeing that Tom Felton’s acting career might actually survive the end of the Harry Potter franchise.  Good for him, and kudos also for him actually paying attention to his film father in those Potter movies, Jason Isaacs, and learning how to play a sniveling toad excellently.

I’m not going to lie here, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be rooting for here, the apes or the humans.  Most of the characters are steeped in grey, very few black and white good and evil.  At the end, I was also questioning what the hell the point of the movie was, and a little research has told me that this is intended as a prequel to the original Planet of the Apes and also a set up for a new beginning of the franchise.  If the quality of those future features are at least at the level of Rise, well I could definitely get on board with that.

Special super praise goes out to motion capture actor extraordinaire Andy Serkis, as if the lead ape, Caesar, wasn’t believable or menacing enough, well the movie would have been dead in the water.  Take note Robert Zemeckis: we don’t want to see mo-capped humans, but Serkis acting as anything is completely cool and very rarely unintentionally creepy.

Even if you have no familiarity with the Planet of the Apes movie franchise, I would recommend Rise to you, as it appears to be setting a solid foundation for future box office blockbusters.

3.5 / 5

About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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