Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011]

I don’t know why the studios and filmmakers feel it’s their responsibility to dumb down and oversimplify every piece of summer entertainment but, as Rise of the Planet of the Apes shows, it’s still common practice. This film does not do justice to the terrifying and riveting concept of an ape uprising. It’s tame and it’s boring. Not scary enough, not bold enough, not original enough or smart enough.  It’s funny, though, but it shouldn’t be.

As hard as I tried to take this movie seriously, I couldn’t. The acting’s campy and the narrative clichéd. There’s only one properly developed character among a sea of caricatures. That is, of course, Caesar, a truly compelling character, halfway between complete innocence and pure evil. If there’s something to be praised about this film, it’s Andy Serkis’s masterful, heartbreaking, Chaplinesque performance, which should earn him an Oscar nod, the first ever rendered from motion capture. Aside from that, I definitely wasn’t impressed by what I saw.

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