Rise of the Planet of the Apes – (2012) – movie review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – (2011)

I was truly disappointed with this movie. What, did the apes take a vow of non-violence? Are the apes supposed to be more humane than the humans? Or was this just the best way to get a G-rating? I was expecting an amazing, violent, destructive, uprising – you know – Civil War type stuff. That is what I wanted, that is not what I got.

Not to be morbid, I know it was a horrible incident – but we’ve seen what a full grown chimpanzee is capable of doing. The unfortunate occurrence in Connecticut a few years back should be a strict warning; we should be afraid of wild animals! Not coaxed into the mindset that we can reason with them or that they will have any compassion for us – not even smart ones.

The first part of this movie was interesting enough. A young scientist, (James Franco), saves a baby chimp from his own genetic engineering research project. Watching Caesar, the chimp go through his steep learning curve, accumulating lessons rapidly and responding to these lessons, then, teaching the other primates – made for some interesting film study. Caesar’s expressions and presence were definitely a marvel of CGI combined with the acting/expressions of Andy Serkis. However, after being treated badly from his captures, you couldn’t wait for Caesar and his new found army to bust out of those cages and wreak havoc upon the populous. When it finally happened it was like a G-rated prison riot. The one person that does get killed was by accident. Then they moved out of the complex and decide, we’ll break cars but not people. They caused a big traffic jam on the Golden Gate Bridge – so what?

Are we supposed to believe that more intelligence yields less violence? If mankind is the case study, then the theory does not hold up. Superior intelligence may eventually tell us that the most important survival aspect is to neutralize a potential enemy swiftly and formidably in order to attain self preservation (and by neutralize, I mean kill). In the original 1960’s – 1970’s franchise, you always felt the threat of violence from the apes. They were physically more powerful, and since they were intelligent, as a human, we had lost our only advantage over them. That is what gave the films a stark impact, what made the films thought-provoking, and what created the anxiety and suspense while watching them. However, after watching this film I would put it in the same class as Free Willy – not necessarily bad but not what I would have liked to have seen.