Arts & Entertainment

Planet of the Apes

thegate.ca

Director Rupert Wyatt rebuilt the Planet of the Apes series entirely from scratch, making the original series and a one-off Mark Wahlberg remake entirely non-canon. The first movie in a planned reboot series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes introduces the ape Caesar, whose heightened cognition is the byproduct of a scientific experiment gone awry. Caesar’s self-awareness presents him with a difficult decision: accept his minor role in a world that is dominated by man, or recruit other apes to join him in insurrection. Not surprisngly, he picks the latter.

In this fight between man and ape, both sides have their share of the usual good and bad guys, but with ambiguous motives. Do these apes want to conquer all mankind, or do they just want to be free from enslavement? The storyline is plausible as far as sci-fi action movies go, and James Franco delivers a compassionate performance as Will, the doctor who raises Caesar. Anyone who has seen the original Apes movies can expect the obligatory references to Charlton Heston’s role as Taylor and a few subtle plot devices that tie in elements of the original series.

The pace of Rise of the Planet of the Apes isn’t rushed. The film tells only the beginning of a story that should require many sequels to fully explain. It considers itself Hollywood’s next blockbuster action series, and postures itself accordingly.

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