I saw “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Tuesday night at a New Jersey AMC dine-in theater with one of my project co-workers. I had never been to a dine-in theater. I found it an interesting new experience. One down side was that we had front row seats so the screen was rather “in your face”, but after 5-10 minutes I tend to forget about that. (I saw Avatar the same way.)
While “Apes” got good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I generally try to avoid getting something too hyped up. So here’s my quick breakdown on a scale of 1-10:
- Story line: 7
- Special effects: 9
- Acting: 9
- Humor (occasional homage to the original): 5
- Overall: 8.5
James Franco does a decent job as Will Rodman, the researcher in search of a drug that can help fight Alzheimer disease (among possible other brain disorders.) John Lithgow is Will’s suffering father who becomes the first human subject and shows positive signs – at first. Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) does a convincing American accent and lands the Charlton Heston line at a great time. Andy Sirkis (aka Gollum) pulls off another great animated acting job as Caesar, the lead chimp who exhibits extraordinary skills passed on from his mother who is killed in a misunderstanding at the lab.
The special effects were generally well done with a whole host of simians generated in the computer. How many were motion captured like Caesar is unknown (without checking the credits), but I suspect most of the major ones were.
The movie left me with a feeling of “OK, this might actually be possible.” Which is a bit frightening.