11 August 2011

At the movies: Rise of The Planet of The Apes.

It's rather vindicating when a good movie becomes a big hit. Especially during the summer. So here, then, are my abbreviated thoughts on the newest entry in the Planet of the Apes saga.

Also, as a special bonus, here's the abandoned beginning for the piece, which isn't even really about Rise..., but rather the thing about the Burton PotA that I don't think anyone has really addressed. But check it out, because without your unspoken validation, I am nothing.

The thing nobody remembers about Tim Burton's maligned 2001 remake of Planet of The Apes is that it was the last time he stayed true to his original mission statement as a filmmaker- embracing the strange and unusual. The beauty of its shocker ending wasn't its supposedly clever tweak of the original's shocking reveal, but rather that it punished the Artist formerly known as Marky Mark's character because of his unwillingess to expand his horizons. He could have lived a weird and extraordinary new life on the planet of the apes, and instead he went heroing it back across space to earth because it was safe and it was where all his stuff and ideology was. Well, joke's on you, you can't have that earth back...

Unfortunately, when society as a whole rejected the film (in spite of shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars in tickets), it must have flipped a switch in Burton's brain, because next came Big Fish and that was it. A career built on embracing the strange and unusual now decided it was time to forgive Daddy and coast on the goodwill people had for Johnny Depp. With the exception of Sweeney Todd, it's been a dire spiral.

All of that comes into play in the way that Rupert Wyatt's Rise of The Planet of The Apes defiantly embraces the strange and unusual at every step of the way. Our perspectives are linked with the apes from the beginning of the film, and when humans become part of the story, it is as adjuncts to where the real deal is happening.

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