For many of us, the last time we uttered the title “Planet of the Apes” was when we were angrily demanding from a teenage usher “I’ll ask you one more time: Are you going to give me a refund for Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, or am I going to have to take another finger?” However, at that time, nobody could have foreseen the Ape Boom of the aught’s. It was spurred on by the box office dominance of a trilogy that made the LOTR movies look like one excruciatingly long version of Carrot Top’s Chairman of the Board: MVP: Most Valuable Primate, MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate, and MXP: Most Xtreme Primate. Fortunately, Tim Burton has resisted the urge to “reimagine” any of these classics, though he has expressed interest in making a worthless version of My Gym Partner’s a Monkey.
Anyways, the Ape Boom® culminated in yet another Planet of the Apes movie that nobody really asked for or cared about. But when the movie came out, it proved what we once overheard our dad saying to our mom on Christmas Eve: “Set their expectations really, really low, then they’ll be delighted when they get a Man-E-Faces toy where two of the faces don’t work. Dammit, we’re out of beer already??”
So, while we kid, Rise of the Planet of the Apes more than delivers on its non-existent expectations, giving audiences what they want: Apes (Yes!), Apes, (Yes!!) and more Apes (Yes!!!!) and James Franco (Wait, what?). Andy Serkis is also along for the ride, playing the role of “Guy who will probably get awarded an honorary Oscar in about thirty years and be really self righteous about it.”
Follow Mike, Kevin, Bill and Zippy’s lead: don a fez, plop down on a unicycle and smoke your finest cigar - it’s time for the Planet of the Apes to Rise!