Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Movie of the Month - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2011 PG-13 105 Minutes

NETFLIX SAYS - This reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise is a prequel set in modern-day San Francisco, where scientists are conducting genetic research on apes. The evolved primates develop advanced intelligence and revolt against being used as lab rats.

MENAJ ATTWAR SAYS - I remember the original Planet of the Apes movie with Charlton Heston from 1968 (no I wasn't alive then, but I saw it as a kid) and this is a pretty fair attempt at describing how the situation in that movie came about. I would not describe this a prequel but as a precursor. It does actually give a nod to the first Apes movie when Tom Felton (Malfoy from the HP movies) says "Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape", a line spoken originally by Chuck when he was recaptured by the apes.

James Franco plays a scientist working in a lab trying to rid the world of Alzheimer's, the disease which is diminishing his own father's (John Lithgow) abilities. A strange series of events lead to Franco adopting a baby CGI chimpanzee who ultimately takes on the SFPD in order to return to the wild of the California redwoods, which he knew briefly as a little chimp.

The effects are reasonable with CGI animals and some explosions during the later scenes. Some of the human/monkey interactions could have been done better. The story developed well and I actually found myself cheering (inside) for the Caesar and the monkeys as they battled for freedom even though ultimately it will lead to the downfall of the human race.

A boy and his chimp share a tender moment
I was torn between reviewing this movie and the robot remake of Rocky, Real Steel. POTA won because Real Steel is basically a robot remake of Rocky, with an 'Over the Top' angle where the star has to make it up to the son he abandoned years before.

The storyline was pretty good and I gave it 4/5. The complete lack of breasts and limited love interest yielded a 0/5 on the Boobs line of the Penguin Scale, while the action was simple and came in short bursts so I gave it 2/5. This equates to an overall score of 2/5 on the Penguin Scale.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2/5


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