Monday, 8 August 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Premiere Review - Monkey Magic


The youngest Gorgebag and I had the pleasure of a night at the Savoy tonight, Thanks to the oh so generous folks at Movies.ie to see the premiere of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. 

Having seen the trailer we knew this was one we couldn't miss. This has to be one of the most widely used concepts in the history of story telling with the novel, 3 films, comics and the TV series in the saga. But with the leaps and bounds made in CGI of late, there was always a smidgen of room for improvement. 

First up in the necessities for a successful remake was an ape that could give 'evils' to make Vicky Pollard flinch? 


But Caesar is so much more than that. Andy Serkis cast as the ape was genius, granted he gave me the heebie jeebies just as he did as Gollum. The Oscar winning team that brought us Avatar and Lord of the Rings have hit it out of the park again. I have to hand it to Rupert Wyatt though, the temptation to disney-fy Caesar to broaden his appeal must have been there but as Frieda Pinto says in the film. 'He's a chimpanzee and I'm afraid of him, it's appropriate to be afraid of them'. 


The film, based in San Francisco is based on the premise of James Franco testing a retrovirus on apes in a desperate search for an Alzheimers cure. I thought Franco was miscast for this to be honest but chatting to Adam in the car on the way home, I thought again. Adam reckons his character had to be smaller than that of Caesar in order for the film to work and the focus to stay in place. Very insightful and completely right, the force is strong with that one. 
Preparing to join their Guido Gorilla brethren with the fist pump
I found this movie warm, funny, well paced and often, literally, breathtaking. At one point a single syllable drawing a collective gasp from the entire audience - a rarity in a movie these days. The cinematography involving the apes was faultless and carried brilliantly by the thumping score from Patrick Doyle. At one point I had to remember to blink. That good. There's also an echo of Morgan Freeman's and Tim Robin's relationship in Shawshank that made me smile and you'll know it when you see it.

The scenes toward the end on the San Fran bridge are a CGI triumph, the audible gasps, laughs and appreciative claps from the audience a testament to that.

Like Caesar himself this film is exceptionally clever and a worthy new addition to the saga that is the Planet of the Apes. If you like your movies awesome, get thee to the cinema for this one.
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