‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ starring James Franco, Freida Pinto and Andy Serkis – trailer review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis
Rating: NR
Release Date: August 5, 2011

TRAILER SCORE: 3/10

Thoughts by TSR:

Before the actual reviews of full versions of this movie start to monkey around with puns, allow me to exercise a slew of phrases and monkey zingers bound to drive people bananas when Rise of the Planet of the Apes bounds into theaters on August 5th. (And to paraphrase Roger Ebert’s Twitter: “Planets don’t rise!”)

I’ve been a little curious (George) for the past couple of years about this project, especially with Hollywood’s fleeting fascination with this franchise. When Tim Burton rebooted the movie, about ten years years ago, no one gave much of a hoot. (I mean, really, what sound does an ape make?) Now, with the increased … err, “attraction” by Hollywood to sell movies by 3D companies (watch the Resident Evil: Afterlife trailer) or this one, which boasts that it uses the same digital effects company as Avatar, we’ve got another monkey movie. But I guess this one is a re-boot? Another one?

Oh, you damn dirty remakes! Now you’ve tried again, with an “epidemic” like perspective of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes story. Instead of giving us visuals of apes with guns and shields etc. (I hope they learn how to use weapons soon in this one!) we get footage that makes this look like a zombie movie, but with the undead replaced with zombies. Zombie fad, you suck.

What else do we have to work with here from this trailer? Not much. James Franco doesn’t sound very enthused to be a scientist in this one, or even terrified. Perhaps he’ll stay behind in the lab during all of the apes chaos, and the rest of the movie will just be a Roland Emmerich-like destruction movie with apes, no heroes, and no resolution. To quote Robocop, “I’d buy THAT for a dollar!”

That’d at least be better than the monkey feces that seems to be awaiting us in the dialogue for this movie. Example one: What does Franco’s brainiac character call his new serum? Wait … hold your breath … not yet … okay … he calls it … “The Cure!” Eureka! Except, wait a minute. Hasn’t every other scientist in a movie used that title before? Wouldn’t that mean “The Cure” is already patented? Is he just so smart as a scientist that he feels above creativity? Is there a whole periodic table of “The Cures” from different movies? If so, how can I get one printed on a shower curtain?

Then, this trailer offers another horrific moment, which lends us to think that this movie will indeed be monkeybrained (BEFORE they’re injected with “The Cure,” nonetheless). Franco’s voiceover details the one “problem” of the drug, and says, “The drug has radically boosted brain functioning.” And his friend, who I assume must be a little bit smart because he wears a suit and tie, says, “You mean, increased intelligence?”

The final nail on the optimism coffin for the idiotically titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the last shot of the trailer, which features a useless monkey glance. Not a shot of a sole monkey saying something, (are they even going to speak?!) or even eating a banana, but just a monkey looking down … looking to its right. Sad to say, this is what the powers that be dished out to the internet as a “first look,” letting internet geeks and casual Youtubers give a similar to the monkey glance at this movie, and offer the same type of reaction: complete lack of amusement. I agree with you, Trailer Ape. Unless this movie goes meta and has you beating up people with fancy suits in Hollywood, I’m not sure I have much hope for you.

Of course, I will be seeing this. Whether it is a disaster of logic or the second coming of the Planet of the Apes franchise, I am totally down for some ideal summer bait. When can I start waiting in line for my James Franco Slurpee cup?

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