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“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2012) Mini-Review

“Planet of the Apes” is a classic movie for many reasons. Having finally had a chance to see last year’s prequel, I hoped that the film would provide a decent background to the original plot. What I actually experienced was an entertaining, yet quite flawed film.

The Good:

  • Motion Capture – Andy Serkis is the best motion capture artist/actor in the business, hands down (for those unfamiliar, Serkis played Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” series, along with major parts in the video games “Heavenly Sword” and “Enslaved”). His work in this movie is just another perfect example of his abilities, with the movement of the apes being natural and fluid.

The OK:

  • Plot – It’s hard to fault the plot for not having a surprising ending (after all, we know where the original movie picks up – speaking of which, there is a nice tie-in to the original which helps to make the plot more genuine). Overall, the story moves along nicely, and does keep your interest, providing some intense and also emotional moments. However, the first 15-20 minutes is extremely rushed, providing bare minimal backstory, which makes you feel somewhat disconnected from the characters.
  • Soundtrack – I don’t know where to put this section, but the soundtrack was unremarkable. It certainly didn’t detract from the movie, but I cannot remember a single moment of the soundtrack or where it played. Thus, I can’t really say whether it was good or bad (at least it didn’t distract me).

The Bad:

  • Plot (Part 2) – For all its good moments, the film has many inconsistencies and questionable parts in the plot. Why at some moments does Caesar seem like a genius ape, and then others seems to not understand the concept of glass or a wall? How does a random “circus orangutan” have a sign language vocabulary of a genetically-enhanced ape taught to sign for his whole life? This is also not to mention the disregard to how James Franco has a plethora of lab work and high-tech medical scans of an ape who has not been outside the house? This and many more questions arise and really take you out of the world at times. Further, the ending was questionable in how it really built into the original film. I don’t want to spoil anything, bu it seems that some major leaps need to be made to connect to the original film.

Short Summary: The film provides a servicable story that has many glaring flaws, but is redeemed by the exceptional motion capture work and well-done action sequences. Recommended for “Planet of the Apes” and sci-fi fans (with an ability to overlook flaws in story-telling).

Final Score: 6/10


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