Braini­acs go ape

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies -

RE­VIEW

Rise of the Planet of the Apes ( M)

★ ★ ★ ■

Di­rec­tor: Ru­pert Wy­att

( The Es­capist)

Star­ring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lith­gow, Brian Cox, Tom Fel­ton

Some things are best kept pri­mate YEAH, I know what you’re think­ing. Planet of the Apes? Surely that well is dry by now? Don’t be too hasty. This sur­prise re­boot – 10 years af­ter the great Tim Bur­ton bun­gled the same job – is sur­pris­ingly good.

Es­pe­cially if you keep your ex­pec­ta­tions low and can han­dle get­ting high on some mad­man-ver­sus-mon­ster­mon­keys stuff.

This new pro­duc­tion rad­i­cally rewrites the old Planet of the Apes ori­gin story to suit both mod­ern times ( the film is set en­tirely in metropoli­tan San Fran­cisco) and tastes ( the apes are all-CGI, all the time: no goofy ac­tors in rub­ber masks here, thank heav­ens).

James Franco stars as Will Rod­man, a sci­en­tist in the process of test­ing a cure for Alzheimer’s disease on apes.

Af­ter dis­cov­er­ing his won­der drug no­tice­ably mul­ti­plies the brain power of his sub­jects, Will’s re­search pro­ject is abruptly shut down.

But not be­fore he makes off with a young ape named Cae­sar, who he con­tin­ues to raise ( and med­i­cate) in se­cret.

Even­tu­ally forcibly sep­a­rated from his hu­man guardian, the mega-in­tel­li­gent Cae­sar finds a new home and a new call­ing af­ter join­ing a group of apes in a grotty an­i­mal hold­ing fa­cil­ity on the out­skirts of the city.

The film does have its flat spots – the mid­dle act slips on a few ba­nana peels as it ven­tures into Shaw­shank Re­demp­tion ( for apes!) ter­ri­tory – but all will be for­given once the end­ing ap­pears in view.

With Cae­sar hav­ing dis­pensed Will’s brain-ex­pand­ing chem­i­cals to his new bud­dies, an un­der­ground army of apes emerges to run riot all over San Fran­cisco.

LEIGH PAATSCH

www. apeswill­rise. com

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

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