Gorillas in the Midst

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I must admit that I did not go into “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” with an open mind. I felt that there was a missed opportunity when it came to the fact that it was not in 3-D. After Captain America did not come out on the fourth of July and this movie was not in 3-D, I felt like Chris Rock in Boomerang after Marcus, the player, got played by the ultimate succubus, Robin Givens; “first the fat boys break up, now this.” However, I soon got over that when I began to watch “Rise.” “Rise” definitely rose to the occasion. It was magnificent.I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the story, which is the story of a brilliant scientist, Will Rodman, played by James Franco (AKA Harry Osborn), who is trying to cure Alzheimer’s , which his father suffers from. Rodman develops a drug that shows progress in the lab chimpanzees; however, a mother chimp goes into attack mode when she felt her newborn was in danger. Of course the attack happened in front of the board of Rodman’s company, and the chimps were ordered to be executed. The newborn is secretly spared and the plot thickens like Jello.

The chimp, who is aptly dubbed Caesar by Rodman, exhibits ridiculous intelligence and (spoiler alert), ends up causing problems that lead to him being incarcerated at a primate reserve. It is here where he begins his assimilation that will of course lead to the rise that the title indicates.

Without giving too much away, I’d like to say that the movie does an excellent job of telling the story of how humans become second class citizens to the primates, and of course it is due to our own hubris and obstinacy. Throughout the entirety of the film, I was constantly reminded of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the book not the movie. The theme is the same, just how far is too far for science?
I also felt that there was just the right amount of action, not so much that the film just becomes a mindless parade of things blowing up, nor so little that it fills like a “Sex and the City” marathon. One of the more impressive things about the film was the amazing job that was done on the primates. They were obviously CGI, but it didn’t look like it, also (spoiler alert) someone does say, “get your hands of me you damn dirty ape;” however, I think my boy Swamp Thang, who will be dropping from the midnight movie nerd crew in a few short weeks due to a new infant addition to his clan, and I were the only people in the theater old enough to get it.

I highly recommend going to see this film. It gets four thumbs up.

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