Do you have any faith in FOX’s prequel/reboot of Planet of The Apes? OK, that’s kind of a stupid question. This is FOX we’re talking about. Hmmm, how do I rephrase that? I guess I can’t. Really, is there any one out there rootin’ for this this flick? *In Ben Stein voice* Anyone…anyone?
Anyway, for the 2 or 3 fanboys that care, the title ‘Rise of the Apes’ has been changed to ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘. Huh? Ya, *thumb up my ass* I dunno. Somebody please explain to me why the heck does a good portion of movie titles nowadays feature the word “rise”.
OK, as unnecessary as the title sounds it kinda makes sense. Lets see, we have Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes. I guess when you look at it that way it’s really not that out of place. Falls in line with previous installments. Still doesn’t make it sound any less stupid.
Now, as I’ve let on, I’m not excited about this flick. I’m not stupid enough to stand in front of the FOX cage and wait for the proverbial poo to be flung at me. However, I can’t ignore some of the promising developments.
1. Apes look good. FOX released a teaser image of one of the apes (above). That is indeed a damned dirty ape.
2. James Franco and Andy Serkis are the leading roles. Franco plays “a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.” Serkis plays the ape Ceasar who leads the ape revolt. Who doesn’t love these guys? OK, I must say I’m starting to dislike James Franco. There’s something new about him that bothers me. I think it’s his face. It has a mind of it’s own. It’s like self aware silly putty.
3. It’s allegory. Fox has released the official plot synopsis:
…an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
On paper that sounds like good social commentary.
4. No talking apes. Fox’s Tom Rothman has said that it is “a kind of prequel story before the first story, with a return to the social thematics that mark the first one, but with an entirely contemporary setting – Earth 2009.” The film won’t have talking monkeys and will not end with chimps taking over Earth.
The 2011 version of this ‘Ape rising’ movie will try and correct the wrongs of the previous failure led by Mark Wahlberg. Director Rupert Wyatt is trying to bring the franchise back to the basics. Is he capable of doing so? Even with the positives, me thinks not. Thoughts?