|"No mister officer, we had nothing to do with the background chaos you see..."|
The movie's premise is simple. James Franco's (in another semi-dialed in role) Will Rodham, a scientist that is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease via a drug that he injecting into apes for testing. An ape, who's side effect to the drug is advanced intelligence, goes crazy and his project gets shelved but he finds out that the "crazy" ape had a son. He takes it home reluctantly and raises it when he realizes the mother passed the effects of the drug on to him. We find out soon enough the drive for James Franco's character in his father, Charles, (played by the always amazing John Lithgow) who suffers from Alzheimer's himself. The father names the ape Cesar after the Roman Emperor and together they raise it for a few years, along with the help of Will's new girlfriend Caroline (played by the beautiful Freida Pinto), and even teach it sign language and all kinds of other tricks that make him a "different" type of ape. Will eventually treats his father with the drug he's been developing secretly and gets amazing results, only to suffer a setback when dementia takes over his father again. During one said bout of dementia, Charles tries to get into his neighbor's car and drive it and consequently gets assaulted by the car owner. Cesar, displaying his animal instincts, comes to his rescue but is sent to San Bruno's Primate Sanctuary.
|Tires, how do they work?|
|"No... this is my boomstick!"|
Will, attempts to bring Cesar back home and stop this but he replies to his adoptive father with a very emotional "Cesar, is home...," much to his surprise (he had not heard Cesar's initial "No") he decides to let him live freely in the Redwoods and the movie ends... for a few seconds. We get a post credit scene where the subplot of "human contamination" via the new "Alzheimer's drug is revisited and we find out the neighbor (the one who accosted Will's father) is an airplane pilot who got infected and is carrying a highly infectious virus that kills within days of exposure. A short (but highly effective) sequence plays out where it charts the planes he pilot's and all the airports he visits,and consequently infects around the world, heralding the end of human civilization. Which is a great way to tie that particularly loose end, since a couple of apes going on a rampage on the Golden Gate Bridge is hardly a way for an Ape civilization to suddenly just sprung up. One can only hope the future movies (you know it has to go there) treat the fans of the franchise with the same level of respect. That being said, I have ONE huge gripe about this movie that actually bumps down the score by an entire point.
|"I'm fairly certain I left the stove on "high" before I left the house..."|
Maybe when I'm 50 and I re-watch this movie the line won't feel so forced and campy, but for right now -.5 star.
For now though, if you follow wrestling, and wouldn't mind reading a second column a week by yours truly, don't be shy and give me a shout out at:
|SHR, during said "line homage."|