Monday, January 23, 2012

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Like so many blockbuster types from last year, Rise of the Planet of the Apes offers a handful of near-remarkable images. The problem—as with much of its big-budget brethren—is that these images and moments are buried within a heap of bland storytelling and direction. I credit the film with excelling in places where many other contemporary blockbusters fail: It has a sense of stakes, a basic competency with its action sequences, and at its core a brilliant performance courtesy of Andy Serkis and Weta Digital. But for every close-up of pixilated wonderment there are countless contrivances that undermine any possibility of intrigue. Each character is fodder for a brutally mechanical plot. You have the good-willed but idiotic scientist, the sadistic aide at the abusive care center, and, yes, even the intelligent girlfriend who has almost nothing to do except look pretty and kiss the hero in a dramatic moment. These are what remain long after the images of dramatic Golden Gate showdown fade into a collective memory bank already overfull with battle scenes. (Rupert Wyatt, 2011) **


Damian Arlyn said...

I think it's telling when the deepest and most interesting character in a movie is the computer-generated ape.

Ted Pigeon said...

Not so fast, Damian. You're talking to a proud defender of Peter Jackson's brilliant 'King Kong'.