Movie Review – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I’ll admit, I was skeptical of another ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie.  They’d had a bunch of them, and only the first was really any good.  The recent remake was pretty forgettable, so much so that I had forgotten the end, despite having seen it at least twice on TV.  So why go see this?  The trailers worked.  I remember sitting in the theater, watching the previews, and realizing that it was a Planet of the Apes prequel, and that it actually looked…decent.  More recently, finding out that Andy Serkis was ‘acting’ as Caesar sold me.  I had to see what happened.

Well, I saw it last night, and was impressed.  The filmmakers managed to tell an intelligent, emotional story without getting too heavy-handed.  You really feel for Caesar as he tries to figure out where he fits in with the world, not a chimp, not a human.  James Franco as the scientist Will Rodman, who creates the drug that enhances ape intelligence(while curing, at least temporarily, his father’s (John Lithgow) Alzheimer’s is solid, you’d hardly imagine this is the same guy that appeared stoned or simply nutty at the Oscar’s.  I feel kind of bad for Tom Felton, who was servicable but your mind just keeps saying ‘Draco Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’ when you see him.

The movie is definitely worth the price of admission, and is a good example as to why you shouldn’t dismiss the various remakes and reboots and adaptations out of hand.  Unless it’s Battleship.