There’s a new “Planet of the Apes” movie out this weekend. After viewing the official preview and one or two dozen TV trailers of the thing, a review of the previews can now be offered. We are going strictly by the “Official Trailer,” though, here. So as not to be repetitive, you may view the preview at the end of the review, where it has been placed for viewing. It’s nearly impossible to spoil what is already half-dead and rotten, but as a disclaimer: this critique may contain spoilers every bit as irritating and self-defeating as those contained in the 10-minute mini-movies we are forced to witness every time we go see a new movie in the theater. The new Ape movie stars the likable and enormously talented Andy Serkis and Mr. James Franco, who has attended Harvard University and many others to study writing and English, and writing in English. And now the feature trailer-review….
Inspiring production credits. Face of a crafty, almost angry chimpanzee. Glimpses of steel apparata of advanced science laboratory. Something about Alzheimer’s disease and innocent beginnings to a foolish scientist dream. Chimpanzee baby in box looks horribly fake. This whole time music in background sweet, with tones of impending menace, rising to the inevitable crescendo of Minute 1:41. CGI baby chimp likes John Lithgow and uses table-tools better than he. Undeniably touching. Baby CGI chimp gets angered when Lithgow is threatened, chimp gets violent, chimp gets tossed into the primate clink. Bad situation, human jailers. Minute 1:41: “REVOLUTION.” Missed product placement opportunity here, the crucial prison-break tool not made by Craftsman. The hero, Caesar, uses intelligence-enhancing hand grenades, neatly solving a serious point of potential narrative trouble. Brainiac digital chimps everywhere, causing ruckuses and havocs and municipal property damage. They are on the rooftops, in the trees, battling on the Golden Gate bridge with police officers who have forgotten they have high-powered weapons. So many apes but they basically look the same, outside of the ruling cadre of apes that provide a rainbow-selection of the simian family. Surely this is intended as a moral lesson. From all appearances the monkeys are the heroes of this movie, but will likely get their come-uppance in the sequel, which will surely make use of Orwell’s “Animal Farm” themes. Because Hollywood is always interested in our edification while producing endless sequences of schlock. In this official trailer there is no image of the pointless, donkey-tail love interest played by Freida Pinto. They must have forgot to tack it on.
The movie opened on Friday, apparently. Get over to the movie-house before tickets vanish. It is unknown why the producers filmed this masterwork in California when all those post 9-11 tax incentives for NYC film-production efforts are still in existence. Maybe the Golden Gate bridge was also CGI. We wish Mr. Franco luck in his scholastic life. At least he is studying something practical, that is not a drain on society. This movie will have you thinking of what to do afterwards, I predict. Or maybe not, because humans are “so close to monkeys.”
(Here is a picture of the love-interest who was cut out of the official trailer..)