Brainiacs go ape
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.
www. apeswillrise. com
Now showing Village Cinemas