I knew I had to see how bad the new Planet of The Apes movie was when I saw that a gorilla leaps at a helicopter in the trailer (kind of like how a car “takes out” a helicopter in Live Free or Die Hard). I had never seen another “El Planet de Apes” movie (at least not in its entirety), so I was coming in with almost no background. Supposedly, if you have seen any of the other films, this new one will blow your mind because it is so good by comparison. It was better than I expected, but I still evaluated it in my typical, objective way: by identifying the best and worst things.
The 5 Worst Things About Rise of the Planet of the Apes
1. It was the plot to Deep Blue Sea, but with apes instead of sharks. Well, not exactly. But in both some scientists are trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease, and test some science drug, which makes the brain repair itself, on animals (sharks or apes), and then the animals become smart and angry and generally better at killing. Sam Jackson and Tom Jane are cooler than James Franco and John Lithgow (though Lithgow is sometimes pretty cool), and sharks are cooler than monkeys.
2. When Caesar talks. When Caesar (the main ape–the smart, pants-wearing one that James Franco loves) reaches ape paradise with the other apes, he says “Caesar is home,” in response to Franco suggesting the ape come back home with him. Typing this, I realize that probably doesn’t sound that bad. But it was a groaner in person.
3. Draco Malfoy ruined a good line. The dude who plays Draco Malfoy shows up as a white trash monkey janitor who abuses the apes in Rise. He gets the famous “you damn dirty apes!!!” line and, frankly, doesn’t pull it off. Minus fifty points from Slytherin.
4. A hot ape scientist, really? Well I bought everything about this movie (crazy science, genius apes, etc) until we are introduced to Hot Ape Scientist (I think that was her character’s name). No way, man. She’s really attractive. She doesn’t have to do that kind of work; she doesn’t have to attend that much school. Good job to James Franco’s character for landing her, but she would just never exist. And just to clear everything up, by “hot ape scientist” I don’t mean she is a hot ape–she is a hot female who studies apes.
5. There was a genius orangutan that was a genius without the Alzheimer’s brain-growing medicine. This ape not only knew sign language (which I know many apes are trained to do), but could just speak it. Like, communicate. No other non-Caesar ape came even close to being that smart. This would have been acceptable if when Wise Orangutan (that’s his name now) was exposed to the medicine, he became noticeably more wise/powerful. Based on how he looked, I think he should have just become a warlock ape once he was exposed. That would have been freakin’ incredible.
The 5 Best Things About Rise of the Planet of the Apes
1. Monkey Parkour! A really good portion of the movie was just CGI apes doing parkour, which was awesome. I mean it. Their swinging/climbing/escaping/free running was really great to watch. There was even a going-through-the-seasons-of-the-year montage of Caesar swinging through the Giant Redwoods, which was strangely similar to some of the scenes from Disney’s Tarzan.
2. When Caesar talks. Before Caesar says that stupid thing about being “home,” he learns “NO!” Just like a child. Except Caesar is cool and can probably drink fruit punch without getting red stained all over his face. Anyway, he just starts screaming “NO” but it is more ferocious and scary than a human can speak. It’s pretty intense.
3. An ape rides a horse. Yeah, Caesar rides a horse!!! Across the Golden Gate Bridge as part of a brigade of apes battling humans! Are you getting home cool that is? An ape leaped to a horse’s back, which must have really freaked the horse out because it is definitely used to humans and is definitely not used to monkeys, but still the ape gained control and rode the horse like a champ!
4. An APE rides a HORSE! Did I mention that Caesar stole the horse from a cop?!!? A cop with a billy club, who had been knocking apes out of the air with a cruelty colder than that found in even the most bitter woman’s heart. An ape commandeered a man’s horse! COME ON (DEERED)!!
5. AN APE RIDES A HORSE!!! Honestly, the movie is worth seeing just for those 16 majestic seconds. (Note: I don’t know how many seconds Caesar actually rides the horse, but it is too short. That’s for sure.) Are you guys getting this??
Welp, there is my take on the movie. I hope this has been helpful to your understanding of the quality of Rise of The Planet of The Apes.
But seriously, an ape rides a horse.