Reviews: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

A Reboot of Ape-ic Proportions

You'd have been right to assume that this movie was going to be bad. I certainly did, or at least I wasn't sure what to expect.

But this movie was exactly what the classic franchise needed. First off, it doesn't pretend to be a remake of the old Planet Of The Apes movie, which was loaded with Cold War-era sociopolitical implications; it updates its premise to the modern society it was made in, raising uncomfortable moral questions about the balance of testing on intelligent creatures and curing horrible diseases—both of their effects can be clearly seen in this movie. It also raises science questions, Project Nim-style; just how much are humans and apes alike? Could apes raised by a human family be at least partially fluent in a form of language? Can apes organize large-scale movements and operations?

Enough about the analysis of the movie's undertones, though—on to the movie itself. It was superbly acted, though the dialogue could have been improved a little. The characters are easy to relate to but are complex in nature; even Will's wife, who doesn't do much, is easy to relate to and plays a crucial role in the movie's climactic scene. You really feel Will's joy as his father recovers from his disease, and his sorrow and helplessness as the disease returns. The villain, too, is extremely well acted; you really feel that greed and callousness towards his apes, and it makes you hate him that much more.

Enough about the humans, though; this is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Like Wall E before it, this movie does a remarkable job of displaying emotion, feeling, and "dialogue" without using words ("Why cookie Rocket?" notwithstanding). The apes are the true stars of this movie, and they don't even need to use words to do it.

All in all: Two enthusiastic thumbs up.