Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

The more I think about this movie, the more I dislike it. I went into the theater with the pre-conceived notion that if the humans were to allow the apes to take over the planet, then the humans had no right managing it in the first place. C’mon! They’re apes! Well, this proved truer than I imagined.

If I hadn’t known this was a Fox production, I would have thought Disney played a hand in the manipulation of the audience’s heartstrings. Rated PG-13, it seemed evident Fox was shooting for as young an audience as possible. And in order to accomplish this, the main character, Caesar, was given all the CGI characteristics of an evolving curious child and into those of a maturing adolescent with a contemporary teenage attitude. I think what soured me in this attempt at human conformity was the fact that the more Caesar became human-like, the meaner he got, until he finally reaches crusader-like status. But it’s hard to imagine an ape inspired by such notions as liberty and equality unless he’s been injected with mind-altering drugs. Such was the case here. In order to make a lot of money for its investors – oh, yeah, and to help cure Alzheimer’s – the nasty corporation’s research team uses apes for testing the latest formula.

The humans really hadn’t a chance as the script had them all behaving far too human. Greed, abuse and selfishness proved to be their undoing, and I think this was subtly underscored by the production’s efforts to victimize the apes from start to finish through experimental subjugation, incarceration and abuse – a sort of simian holocaust. Such cruelty can only lead to insurrection and reprisals. And, taking only one smart ape to incite the brotherhood, the carnage begins. But once again, Fox, rather than going for gratuitous realism, chooses to entertain the multitudes with incredible and sanitized scenes of violence. Can apes really organize and climb to the foggy tops of the Golden Gate Bridge, or monkey-bar their way beneath it, and slam hard on stupefied law enforcement? This scene appeared more like flash mobbery on steroids. God help us all should today’s youth become this intelligent, agile and aggressive.

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