When the trailers first hit the market for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I was not impressed. Here it seemed Hollywood was yet again rehashing an old franchise that didn’t warrant revisiting. The effects didn’t look very good, and the story seemed as silly as ever. Sure, I enjoyed the original films as a kid, but even then I recognized them as high camp, and their lame attempts at social commentary were lost inside of actors in goofy ape suits and Charlton Heston’s comical over-emoting. But then the film came out this past weekend, and the good buzz was palpable and made me think I should check it out in spite of my misgivings. I come before you, my readers, willing to admit when I am wrong.
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the best reboot of any franchise since Batman Begins. It’s also the most fun I’ve had watching a sci-fi morality tale since District 9. While it lacks District 9‘s satirically leanings and over-the-top gore, it makes up for it in character development and emotional involvement. Whereas the original series clumsily drew parallels to the Civil Rights movement, this new incarnation goes back to the age-old warnings against Man abusing Nature and underestimating the power of animal instincts. Continue reading