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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Okay, so I went from "why did this movie need to be made?" to "this actually looks pretty good" in the past few weeks, but now after seeing it I'm leaning more towards my initial impressions.

A lot of critics and viewers have seemed surprised that Rise of the Apes is as good as it is. That was part of the reason I started getting excited to watch it. And I think it is that good... for awhile. The first third is totally solid, setting up an ethical conflict with a lot of potential. Even more than that, the special effects are to be applauded. They're easily the best thing about the film. The motion capture technology (and acting work of Andy Serkis, who helped bring the apes alive) is nothing short of astounding. These creatures definitely don't feel digital, particularly the main ape, Cesar. In fact, he gives the central, most memorable performance in the film.

The problems start to appear in the sluggish second act. To me, at least, the inciting incident came a little too late and the aftermath (involving a horrible animal "shelter") eats up much of the movie (too much, imo). Sidenote: If you're a Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) fan, it's kind of fun to watch him attempt an American accent (which he sort of succeeds with). Then we get to the conclusion, which is where I finally made up my mind about the movie. The problem is, it's so inevitable that you're just waiting for it to come. And when it finally does, I was left a little underwhelmed. I mean, once you see the movie, you'll understand why Cesar was so angry that he needed to lash out at the humans (you'll be right there with him, trust me), but the whole "ape uprising" seemed a little drastic and out-of-nowhere to me. I don't know, maybe it was just me.

Even with all of these nitpicks, I'm still mildly recommending the movie. The opening third (and the effects) are so good that it makes it a solid rental. I don't think I'll ever watch it again, though. B-


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Blogger Martin said...

Just read at swedish moviesite "Moviezine" that they think its the opposite. Its the last half hour that makes up for it. If you are a fan of action of course. I havent seen it yet, but I have seen all the others and for me, its the action that does it :)

3:50 AM  

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