Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I am a huge fan of the 1968 original. The whole 'what if?' concept is great and, for me, it is the perfect film to end the 1960s. The film is full of shots of people looking into sunsets contemplating the future and their place in it - when their once familiar environment has changed beyond all recognition. Is there a better analogy for the end of the swinging sixties?

Tim Burton's 2001 remake, though perfectly watchable, is little more than a two hour fight in which Wahlberg whines his way through the narrative - picking fault and attempting to change his new found space - unlike Heston in the original who attempted not to fit in but to flee this place he wants no part of. The brilliant end sequence would not have taken place if Heston had stayed and orchestrated change - it only works because he believes there's something better out there. Arguably, this change for change sake (rather than for the better) is a fitting way to remember the noughties.

Which brings us to Rise of the Planet of the Apes which, according to the website, is an origin story (obviously Hollywood has tired of the word reboot - either that or it is playing with Darwin's Origin of the Species...).

It certainly looks good and zips along at a fair pace. However, the point of good science-fiction is to address contemporary concerns by highlighting them in a different setting. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see just what this new film brings to the franchise.

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