I like SciFi, movies and books. Back in High School I actually read the book "Planet of the Apes". I liked the book, it kept my attention and the best part, my teacher gave me credit for reading it. I watched a few of the "Planet of the Apes" movies, admittedly not all the way through. I didn't like the movies and couldn't get into them. Now in their defence, I was born in the 70's, so by the time I watched the movies on TV, they were really dated. The remake "Planet of the Apes" with Mark Wahlberg was equally disappointing, regardless of how much the special effects improved. So I guess you could say, I have given the idea of apes taking over the world a fair chance to win me over. But no matter how you sell it or spin it, to me, the idea that apes will surpass humans and start running the world is just too 60's for me. So you can probably see where I am going with the reboot "Rise of the Apes"? But before I give you my review, let me set up the movie for you.
Will Rodman (James Franco) is an up and coming scientist working for a pharmaceutical company. Developing a new drug, Will seems to have cured Alzheimer. With more to gain then just praise and money, Will's father Charles (John Lithgow) has Alzheimer's and this could be his one chance to get his father back.
Taking the drug as far as animal testing will allow, Will pushes to start human trials. Unfortunately for Will, the side effects of the drug outweigh the benefits and the Board of Directors turn down his request for human trails. This forces Will to start from the beginning, ruining his chances of helping his father. The Board also demands all animals, Apes, that were part of the testing be destroyed. This leads to an unexpected discovery, a baby ape hidden in one of the test ape cages. Will doesn't have the heart to kill the baby ape, so he sneaks the baby ape out of the lab, along with a sample of the drug.
Will is now more determined than ever to see his project through. His plan is to give his father the drug and raise the ape on his own. The question is, what will the drug do to his father and what happens when you genetically altered the brain function of an ape? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1318514/
Ok, as a reminder the movie "Rise of the Apes" is a reboot and not a remake. This movie doesn't follow any book or storyline of the original, so this movie does feel more updated. The movie effects are great, James Franco and John Lithgow are great in this movie and Tom Felton (from Harry Potter) has locked himself in as a guy you can really hate. They did a good job of not having the apes talk like people and using a drug company for an ape patient zero works. I do really want to like this movie. So what's my problem? I guess the idea of our arrogance allowing apes to take over the world seems so 60's. Nuclear war, polluting the planet to the point of uninhabitable, heck even Alien invasion seem more reasonable then apes driving police cars. Plus, you have to let a lot of things go as "it's just a movie". Things such as, a distressed ape running wildly through a Pharmaceutical company and getting into a Board of Directors meeting. The over the top jerk of a next-door neighbor, who shoves an old man with Alzheimer? The equally over the top jerk animal control officer, who tasers apes in a cage? The big one, how do the nongenetic altered apes that get out of the zoo learn so fast. Maybe I am being to harsh but some movies need to stay in their decade. So what do I give it? No need to see it in theaters but definitely worth the rental. PG -13 for bad language, violence and if you are an animal lover, parts of the movie will be rough to watch. After this you may want to give to the Humane Society. Enjoy!