To Hollywood’s credit, it is a green industry. Hardly anyone else can match Hollywood’s recycling power of old materials... Remakes, prequels, sequels, you name it; Hollywood sees no loss opportunity in reproducing revenues. With that said, writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and director Rupert Wyatt do try to bring a somewhat fresh approach to the Planet of the Apes series. Like some other films, e.g. Batman Begins, this is achieved by recreating the source and thus opening the door for new sequels (the process is nicknamed reboot). Call it the Hollywood time-machine for series films: go back in time, change how it all begun, and, voila, its deja vu all over again.
This film’s premise, if one insists it should have one, is similar to many classic science-fiction stories in which the machines, intended to serve humans, develop supreme intelligence and rise on their creators. Not very original but with a twist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes places lab apes in place of the machines.
The film enjoys superb special effects which make the apes as real as one can imagine. In addition, much had been said already about Andy Serkis portrayal of the leading ape, Caesar. He is quite phenomenal.
All in all the film has a good start and a believable storyline. This goes to the credit of director Wyatt as well as to the lead cast James Franco. But somewhere around 30-40 minutes into the film, credibility loses its grip and its mostly downhill from there.
It is a nice summer movie that has good intentions but is unable to shake its past nor its need to follow the predictable and yawning plotline. Yet who knows, maybe the sequel to the prequel will make the remake unpredictable? Did I get it right?