Movie Trailer Review
By our guest blogger, Joe Oliveto
Although the last time Hollywood decided to take another stab at the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, we got Tim Burton’s relatively lackluster reboot, we all know that nothing will stop that town from ruining our beloved classics. Sure, the upcoming “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” sports a strong cast, but we have to wonder if this origin story is really necessary.
This first trailer doesn’t do much to answer that question. While nothing about the film looks particularly terrible—unless you have a problem with a slightly campy tone, which you shouldn’t if you are a “Planet of the Apes” fan—nothing about it looks all that intriguing, either. James Franco, as strong an actor as he is, does seem like he may be difficult to take seriously in the role of a brilliant scientist, but this film is set in San Francisco; maybe he’s some sort of Timothy Leary type figure.
(Honestly, that’s something which we could get behind; too often, Hollywood sci-fi films rely on the “Sober and Serious Scientist” stereotype. We need something new.)
As is to be expected, the CGI, courtesy of WETA, looks about as impressive as CGI can look these days. Given the fact that the apes in this film have not yet evolved into the more human-like form that they took in the original movie, it makes sense that the filmmakers eschewed make-up effects in favor of digital imagery.
Sadly, we can’t say that the trailer evoked any sense of urgency, but that might be because we’re used to traditional trailer editing these days. There’s nothing about this trailer that’s anything you haven’t seen before, but that doesn’t mean the film is bad. Very few movies get promoted in interesting and unique ways.
Whether you have any interest in this film will probably depend on how you feel about the first movie. While the “science gone wrong” theme which appears to be at work here is slightly in keeping with the tradition of the franchise, part of the pleasure of the original—for some, at least—derives from the fact that we never exactly knew how the apes took over the world. Did mankind nearly destroy itself in a war, paving the way for another species to involve into the dominant race? Did some sort of bizarre experiment result in the “ape uprising” (that’s very difficult to type with a straight face), as is suggested in this film?
The questions were part of what made the first movie such a strong cinematic experience. We probably don’t need a movie that tries to give us the answers.
Below is the trailer. Thoughts?