Thursday, 11 August 2011

134, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

In 1968, Charlton Heston muttered the immortal words, "You Damn Dirty Ape!".  In 2001, Mark Wahlberg picked up the mantle and reprised one of movie history's most famous lines and in 2011, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) was the chosen character to spout it one last time - so where does this fit in with the other two movies?

Well, The '68 version sees Heston crash land on an alien planet where Apes have the brains as well as the brawn and have managed to keep Humans at bay with Heston having to lead the revolution to gain back authority.  In 2001 its pretty much a direct remake of the '68 original but in the latest turn of events we see Earth in its current state and how the Apes got to the point of executing their master plan to take over the globe. Simples!

This time we don't have Humans in Ape costumes - we moved onto to pretty impressive CGI, portrayed on screen using Andy Serkis in a ping pong ball covered jump suit, the "go to" guy for pretty much every planned, digitally created character since Gollum! The cast includes James Franco as the scientist responsible for creating the brain enhancing drug that gives the Apes (mainly Caesar) their advanced physiology and what starts out as a phenomenal advancement in science quickly turn into our greatest downfall.

John Lithgow plays the father brilliantly as the Alzheimer's sufferer who also (illegally) benefits from the brain drug but after a 5 year lapse its apparent the drug, although great for the primates among us does not bode so well for Humans.

The special effects are brilliant - there is no other explanation.  The baby Apes are cute and the adaption of the original story is brilliantly conceived, showing how our own advancements can easily transform to our most torrid time.

Yes it a tad far fetched but so was the original, there are some pretty sad moments as well as a few funny ones but in the main you do feel for the Apes.  You're heart goes out to them and you wish them all free.

Tom Felton is the first of the Potter clan to step out in a new role since Hallows pt 2 hit the screens only a few weeks ago and plays the evil Ape keeper pretty impressively.  Still nasty but great with it.  Franco is believable as the caring scientist and Lithgow as the dad is brilliant.

Brian Cox plays the sanctuary boss (and Felton's Dad) with the same air of nastiness and for the more keen eyed of you there is a great little role for Stargate Atlantis Star, David Hewlett.

As its only at "preview status" most of you wont have seen this yet although the trailer gives most of it away,  so I wont actually spoil the ending - but as for the Apes taking over the world, well stay through the end credits to see how they deal with that and make your own mind up if you feel a sequel is coming.

It does not feel that long winded either - quite a nice little time filler that trundles along at a pretty speedy pace.  I never felt "come on already!" which is a good sign.

There is no actual "stand out" performance to speak of (Unlike Paul Giamatti in the 2001 version) but all in all everyone is pretty good.  The effects are brilliant and the ending sums up everything pretty well.

All it needs now is for you lot to go and see it.

See this if.............................................You ever wondered how it all began!