Full review available at the Herald.

So. Rise of the Planet of the Apes should not have been good. Did you see the last one? Thank heavens, then. Get to a secure location where the infection can’t reach you. According to both minutes of my research, the 2001 Planet of the Apes marks the exact moment Tim Burton became Crappy Tim Burton. Possibly this actually happened during Sleepy Hollow, but since I am not a Burtonoligist and this post is not about Tim Burton, it is now time to move on.

To Planet of the Apes remakes that don’t suck! By all rights, this category should consist of no movies. It certainly should not include prequels/reboots of movies about talking, Earth-ruling monkeys. Yet here we are! Life: it contains surprises.

Turns out Rise of the Planet of the Apes is well-placed, well-plotted, and tightly written. It smartly establishes just how this crazy ol’ place got started while answering the big questions about the original movie. Also, it doesn’t give a shit about the humans. This story is the story of Caesar, the first and leader of the new apes. His “father” James Franco gets a decent chunk of screen time, but when it comes to emotional content, it’s all about Caesar and his evolving perspective on the human race.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes isn’t perfect–the “bad guys” are all one-dimensional, and the CG and its physics are just a little off (though you get used to them after a while)–but it’s much, much better than I anticipated. I’m actually looking forward to the next installment.

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