Monday, April 2, 2012

Movie Review Monday

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

I wanted to see this movie since I first watched previews for it. Time got away from me, and this is the first weekend I had a chance to sit down and see it. I really enjoyed it.

The basic premise of the story is that Dr. Rodman is trying to create a drug that will cure Alzheimer's. He experiments on chimps, giving them human-level intelligence. He takes in Caesar, a baby, after his mother is killed. Caesar eventually becomes the leader of the apes.

It wasn't exactly an uplifting movie. It was actually pretty sad. The film totally sways your sympathies toward Caesar and his plight to be "human." You also feel very sorry for Dr. Rodman and his desire to help his father. However, you don't feel as sorry for Rodman because he's pretty selfish and dooms the world to death. By the time he does discover his charitable side, it's too late.

My spouse and I had an interesting discussion on this film. He had a hard time getting into it because he didn't believe apes would really be able to take over the world. He claimed that humans outnumber apes and the Army would take them out rather quickly. He has a point. Even if apes outnumbered humans, guns would still outnumber apes, and we have airplanes and helicopters. There would be nothing to stop us from shooting them from the sky.

Yet, the point of science fiction movies is to portray alternative theories. It poses the question: What if? Plus, in the film, the cure for Alzheimer's is what is inevitably going to take out the humans. It has the ability to make the apes super smart, but it kills us. And it's airborne, so it will spread that much faster. I enjoyed it on that level. I love looking at the "what if" possibilities and constructing stories around that. To me, this movie did a fabulous job of portraying the what if scenario.

It made me wonder how the first film started. I'm pretty sure the first and only time I've seen it was when I was in grade school, and I never watched it the whole way through. I saw the remake in the theater, but I don't remember a lot about that. Maybe I need to have a Planet of the Apes marathon weekend!

If you're a science fiction geek and you enjoy a good story, I would recommend this film. You don't need a background in the other films to enjoy it, although there are some nods to the original.

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