Shock The Monkey!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) Director: Rupert Wyatt Starring: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto Rating: PG-13 for scary ape on ape action.
Let’s face it folks, monkeys are friggin awesome. You show me an adorable Capuchin monkey or a mischievous chimpanzee with a gift for slapstick and I am one happy yet understandably single fella.
Plus, monkeys make movies thousands of times better!
Remember Every Which Way but Loose and Any Which Way You Can starring Clint Eastwood? Of course you do! Why? Both movies had a hard punching orangutan. Remember Honkeytonk Man starring Clint Eastwood? No you don’t. Why? No hard punching ogangutan!
Plus Clint Eastwood sings in that movie. It’s very sad.
So based upon this criteria, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is swarming with monkeys by the way, must be high up on my personal scale of awesome, right?
I’d say this movie rates on my personal scale of awesome somewhere between vintage Tyco slot cars and a fine quality cheesesteak. So that’s pretty awesome in my book. It’s taken me years to develop this scale. Your personal scale of awesome will vary of course.
In this reboot of the original Planet of the Apes series, scientist Will Rodman (played by Academy Awards ceremony ruiner James Franco) works to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by injecting a super drug into plain old chimpanzees. His work shows promise when his prized female chimp develops incredible brainpower, but when she breaks up the lab protecting her newborn baby, Will’s dick boss (David Oyelowo) scraps the project and orders the scientists to go back to inventing other things, like new flavors of Gatorade and fun and sporty activewear for dogs.
Will and his dad Charles (John Lithgow) raise the baby chimpanzee at home. The chimp, which they name Caesar, grows up in a really cool loft apartment in the attic and has inherited his Mom’s super smarts and a growing feeling that he is not like other monkeys. But before the movie turns into the best sitcom ever, Caesar (Andy Serkis) let’s his wild monkey run free when he attacks a bullying neighbor who threatens Charles. The cops force Will to take Caesar to a primate sanctuary, which Caesar soon discovers is actually an all monkey version of Midnight Express.
Angry and bitter about his predicament, Caesar uses his super brain to become the leader of the other captive apes and to devise a plan to escape his cruel human captors. Using some super brain formula he steals from Will’s fridge (note to all scientists out there – never keep your super brain formulas in the fridge, that’s the first place they look!) Caesar makes his fellow monkey prisoners smart like him and soon they are storming the streets of San Francisco determined to stick it to the evil human oppressors who made them ride tricycles and wear bow ties and frilly dresses.
I’m not going to give away the ending to this exciting and monkey filled flick, but since the title is Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and it is the first film of a proposed franchise I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.
They rise. Sorry, I had to say it.
The amazing thing about Rise of the Planet of the Apes is all the apes were created using state of the art CGI and motion capture technology, so you get all of the advantages of having tons of cool apes in your movie, but without the horrible smell! Although many actors had to wear those form fitting motion capture leotards for hours on end under hot studio lights…
You know what, let’s not think about that.