Look, here’s the thing: In the grand scheme of the pantheon of science fiction films, few people really give a shit about Planet of the Apes. When one looks back on the originals, it’s rarely with any genuine fondness, but rather a sense of wistful, somewhat guilty nostalgia. The original was an interesting film that hasn’t aged particularly well, the sequels were rather painful, and the Tim Burton remake was, at the very best, a phenomenal fucking failure of excess and egoism.
And yet, here we are, with a prequel entitled Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, an idea that, if it didn’t have such a rockin’ cast — James Franco, Brian Cox, John Lithgow, Freda Pinto, Tom Felton and David Oyelowo, with an assist from Andy Serkis for the (very impressive and very creepy) mo-cap stuff — it would barely be on our cultural radar at all. If anything, it brings to mind Burton’s remakes, which rode on the laurels of flashy effects and a big name cast.
Here’s the thing, though. It actually looks good. I don’t mean it looks amazing. But it looks… solid. Interesting. Entertaining. The first trailer, that Dustin wrote up a few months ago because I was… drunk, or something (I try to keep him away from sci-fi, because it’s too much like watching a toddler try to stick a lobster up its ass), was kind of intriguing. This one gives a much grander picture of the scope of the thing, and I have to say, I dig it. Also? I like the fact that they can’t speak yet, too (though I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s part of the dramatic final minutes). Sure, it’s hard to make the logical leap that apes will somehow manage to actually take over the world, since there are so few of them and there are 7 billion of us. Especially since whenever I think of apes and monkeys, I default to this:
Yet as is frequently my wont, I digress. Yes, it’s hard to accept that the apes, even with vastly superior intellects, could ever actually succeed in overthrowing us. But then again, probably 6.8 billion of us are fucking morons (including most of you), and these are super smart apes, so who the hell knows.
But honestly, that’s the Macguffin of sorts. You need to get past it. It’s like getting annoyed at FTL travel in space operas. If you can accept the outcome, it’s possible that you just might enjoy the journey. I don’t know. It’s directed by Rupert Wyatt, who is something of an unknown, which makes the whole thing a dice roll. But it’s got potential. Plus, I generally tend to root for movies that end with the destruction/enslavement of mankind.
Anyway, take a looksee: