Saturday, August 06, 2011

1600 - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I'm a fan of this series - I own the original boxset on VHS.  Damn straight!  This film serves, I suppose, as a reboot to the franchise.  Seeing how the original series went out of order (mostly out of necessity) this one is smart to start at the very beginning and tell a kind of origin story.
First off, for all those Ape geeks, this film pays wonderful homage to the original series, and in a lot of nice little touches - quick things that you may not even notice, like a young Caesar playing with a toy of the statue of liberty.  It has all the key moments that the film should have, even down to the famous, "Damn Dirty Ape" line.  But what this film also does is that it REALLY makes you give a shit about the apes.  Even though you know that their course of actions is going to destroy humanity, you're still cheering for them.  The CGI is pretty great, and I can't remember a single moment where I was pulled out of the film.  Andy Serkis is a marvel here and like many people are stating, I think he should definitely be recognized for his acting by the academy.    Tom Felton, on the other hand, really needs to stop playing manipulative mustache twirling villains.  Show some range!  He's laughable here and it hurts the film a tad.
This is a film without a lot of dialogue and it's a film full of wonderful imagery that's smart and advances the storyline.  My favorite is of a tree-lined suburban street, all is normal until you see leaves falling, not unlike a swarm of bees coming at you, until you realize - right - the apes must be moving right above us.  Brilliant.
I can only imagine, given the quality and talent from this, that they will continue on with this series reboot.  As they should.  I'd LOVE to know what happens next.  It's smart, fun, and full of energy inducing action flick.  If you like the original series at all, or have been reading the rave reviews and are curious, do yourself a favor and give into your curiosity.  It's worth it.

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