Movie Review XXIII

by zenquaker

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A scientist researching Alzheimer’s cures pushes ahead with controversial research because he is obsessed with his father’s failing health. One his ape test subjects goes nuts, and the rest are ordered destroyed. But in the aftermath he finds that the ape went nuts because she was trying to protect her newborn child, who is carrying the same gene complexes given to the mother. The scientist takes the baby ape home and raises him.

I really liked this movie. I rented it expecting more of an action movie, but there is not that much action, especially early in the film. It’s more of a drama/thriller. Still, even though I was expecting a more exciting movie, the pacing and story of this one kept me quite interested [+]. The story is very good, showing the growth and disillusionment of the protagonist ape Caesar [+]. Like any good science fiction, the movie manages to use the otherness of the situation to explore social issues of repression and exploitation that might otherwise be glossed over [+]. The characters are well done and (mostly) three dimensional and well played [+]. The ape rampage at the end was nice [+], but I felt the climactic battle was a bit unrealistic [-]. I was rather irritated with the way the (overly?) classic line “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape” was inserted into the film. It felt like they decided it had to be in the movie, so the rammed it in wherever it fit [-]. I watch plenty of remakes (I’ve got the third Thing movie in my queue), and I like the occasional nod to the earlier versions. But they need to fit with the current movie or you’re just trying to suck up to old fans, who are probably going to hate your movie anyway because it isn’t exactly the same as the one they misremember. This movie was good enough that it didn’t need that. On the other hand, I really liked the closing title sequence. I haven’t seen the story continued through the closing credits like that since Steamboy, and I really appreciated it [+] (even if Steamboy did a much better job of it).

Final Rating 8/10.

Best Quote: I swear, you know everything about the human brain except how it works. -Jacobs