Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ape did this.

While this isn't news to anyone that knows me or somehow manages to frequent this site, but I'll watch anything. Really. But possibly even more telling, is that I will watch an entire film for one single moment. Yes, sometimes...that may have to do with a nude scene or something, um, salacious (was there another reason anyone saw Swordfish theatrically?), but generally if I hear something like, eh, it's oooookay, but there's this one part...I'm in. Say no more.

Sometimes, it could be as simple as a ridiculously good knife fight [here], or someone trying to shut a door in the wind [here]. Once,a personal favorite moment of ridiculousness,  it was someone throwing a f--king horse! [here] It can be the tiniest of things, but if great/horrible enough, it can make for something special.

But this time, man, this time. This time it's an ape. Ha, that's funny.
An ape riding a horse. Which is pretty cool.
Through fire. Oh shit, really?
While holding a machine gun. *pantomimes getting an erection*

In each hand. *actually dies*

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is good summer entertainment. It's not as mind-blowing as some might have you believe (um, despite what I just suggested) but it's filled with enough entertaining moments (and by moments, clearly I mean bits where apes do cool shit) that it should certainly satisfy fans of the original. Years ago, my wife reluctantly saw the first one and liked it. And this summer, she had a good time here as well. And if you can't trust a mother of two who's just happy to be not at home, who can you trust?

Actually, in the second flick of the reboot series, trust is going to be paramount. Years after Caesar initiated the primate revolution in the first flick [review], here we find him as he has settled into the role of wise leader, favoring diplomacy over fisticuffs. The humans, what little remain of them (after the simian flu wiped them the f--k out) need to do some work where the apes live (the foggiest hills on the planet), and even though they just recently shot an ape in the face, Caesar trusts that everyone will all be like little Fonzies, you know? Even that one shifty guy, with the rotten attitude and awful face, whose entire family was wiped out by those damn dirty apes. Even that guy's going to cool. Scout's honor.

It's not a spoiler to say that that circle of trust is broken, and all Hell will eventually break loose, as I already mentioned the whole dual-wielding, fire horse-riding ape in my opening. I mean, let's be honest. That guy doesn't show up when things go according to plan, right?

My only real complaint about the film is how incredibly predictable it is, even if every telegraphed move is justified. It's a tough complaint to basically be asking for some irrational shit to happen, but every crazy ape/human action has been carefully explained prior. There's no guesswork, nothing really implied. But you likely don't go to a Planet of the Apes movie to solve a f--king mystery, do you?

Also free of mind-bending riddles, are the Yays and Boos. In fact, I actually found them in a room full of a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters. It was the best of times...

Ape (face) hurt ape. 

  • Let me tell you, I'm pretty sure my wife's entire ass left the seat when a certain giant beast provided the lone jump-scare. It was very impressive. The leap, pervert. The leap.
  • The next time we have a kid, I'm going to request only apes be present during delivery. Well, and Felicity. Their surgical masks are pretty legit, right?
  • Koba (pictured). This dude is a bad customer, no doubt, but I liked his reasoning. It can all be boiled down to two words: Human work.
  • Being the asshole. I love when movie characters say, Oh, so I'm the asshole now? Because there's never really any doubt.
  • Kids. Not only is Caesar's youngest totally adorable! but even his oldest is a handsome gent, if I do say so myself. Like a hairier Channing Tatum. Or a younger Robin Williams.
  • So the humans are having a pretty sweet party, right? Think, that night in Zion, minus the groovy beats and pending orgy, and you're on the right track. Anyway, this party will be crashed. And this crashing? Well, it has rocket launchers. As in, rockets. Will be launched.
  • Maurice. Not only is that the only name I've purchased on those f--king Coke bottles, but this guy is my favorite ape in the flick. He's fat, hairy, incredibly methodical, loves a good book, and a good ass kicking. Sounds like someone I know, actually.
  • There's a pretty sweet jailbreak scene, um, that takes place on a school bus, if that makes sense.
  • And finally, Andy Serkis (and crew). Even though these are silly, though well-made, well-intentioned, summer flicks, I truly believe they are changing the movie industry. I firmly believe that the Oscars need to begin to recognize these guys, because they are creating layered performances that resonate just as much as traditional actors. I'm sure they haven't even scratched the surface, but regardless, Serkis, and others like him, are pioneering something, and I feel fortunate to see it evolving right in front of me. I mean, I fully bought into the emotional journey of a talking ape. I cared about him. And this is the one not riding the horse and shooting people in the face. Ridiculous!
One of these people is the one that ruins everything.
Here's a hint: It's not Keri Russell.
Or anyone wearing a hat. Or the kid.
Or that guy on the right.
  • No offense, really, but this group of actors, on paper, make James Franco look like Leonardo f--king DiCaprio. Seriously, who the f--k are these people? Well, outside of...
  • Gary Oldman, who plays a decidely un-Gary Oldman type role. He's slimy, but in the most unspectacular way possible. 
  • Ash. This poor ape not only gets shot in the face for no reason, but let's just say that ain't the half of it. 
  • Hey, we're going to go talk to the apes, even though we totally f--ked up and they're probably going to kill us. Who's coming with me? Great. Now when we get up there...wait in the car.
  • Malcolm (Jason Clarke, a guy) heads up to this ominous entrance to Ape Central. It's creepy, it's quiet and he's totally alone. Until, of course, that 900lb gigantic f--king gorilla SNEAKS UP BEHIND HIM.
  • Keri Russell gets to play Ellie, or as you'll remember her: Concerned Woman. Honestly, she does okay, but I imagine at the end of a long day of shooting, she needed like, three guys to forcibly change her brow back from furrowed with worry.
  • Gun Dicks. There are these two guys at the armory, who apparently have nothing to do but make sure the guns work. I'm pretty sure after say, 700 rounds, it's safe to say that the gun indeed, works. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that we might not have an infinite supply of bullets to shoot about willy-nilly.  Unless that ammo is made of ape turds, then please, fire away.
  • Mistreating horses. First, people are throwing them at Abe Lincoln, and now this? They've been busting their ass for mankind forever, and apes takeover...and they still can't catch a break. I mean, if sharks ruled the world, would they ride horses?
  • And finally, as fun and as goofy as this movie was, it seemed a little too long. Honestly, outside of the massive ape v. ape battle at the end, the entire movie kind of happens twice. I get it, there just like us, we're just like them...but damn. Can't everybody hurry the f--k up, then?
Hopefully you're like me, and able to find joy in little moments. Hopefully you're able to think that even if something was ultimately pointless and a waste of time, at least there were those few seconds that made you smile and think this isn't so bad after all. And if you're not that kind of person, well...

...what the Hell are you doing here?


  1. Great review! Your boos made me laugh. Ash could NOT catch a break. I had the same thought about horses during the movie too. Plus I imagine they'd be like "wtf is that? That's not a human!"

    1. Poor Ash. Nothing like being the best friend of a secondary character, right? Might as well have had a bulls-eye hovering above his head the entire time.

      Seriously, you're doomed for your entire life by man, those bitches get wiped out, and still, you've got some jerk riding around on top of you, making you jump over fire and shit.

  2. Great review. I agree, it was really good and the effects work may be game changing, but the plot not so much. I thought Jason Clarke was great in Zero Dark Thirty, so I guess he might be getting more popular in the years to come. Keri Russell (and all the other women in this movie...) had pretty much nothing to do. We didn't even get to see her administering medicine! Just talking about it. Her poor eyebrows.

    1. Thanks! I didn't see Zero Dark Thirty, but I'm sure he's a capable actor. Here though, the cast made this almost feel like the most badass CBS miniseries ever. I'd be okay if he takes off and becomes a big star, though. He wasn't terrible or anything.

      Ah, Felicity. Doomed from the get go. I forgot that she just shows up and says, I have medicine and we just cut to Hakuna Matata between man and ape.

  3. Good review mbrown. I was intrigued by the trailers for this but after your review (and one other blogger's review) I think I'm just going to wait and rent the Blu-ray, I don't like going to the theater by myself and since my fiancee doesn't have any interest in movies that do not star Cameron Diaz and the kid got pretty terrified by the original movie that she was not interested in seeing any of the sequels there's no sense in paying an arm and a leg for something that may not be as exciting as I had hoped.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I think that it's probably worth a matinee at least, but I hear you if you're waiting for the DVD. But honestly, I'm all about going by myself. It's soooo quiet - I love it.

      I don't want anyone to think that this flick isn't a good time, it's just that it feels like it's being heralded as something much more fantastic than it is. Personally, I'm still leaning toward Edge of Tomorrow as my favorite summer flick....but we'll see. I've missed some of the bigger stuff.

  4. (Me motioning): Right hand swipe, left hand pinch of air, shows right palm...... THERE!! I just left four paragraphs of comments in ape sign language!!

    But seriously though, Serkis and co. really are revolutionizing the film industry! It must be time to recognize them!

    1. Damn it. I should have just uploaded a clip of me waving my hands incredibly slowly instead of typing all this nonsense....

      Man, they are....and I feel like it's almost overlooked because we're somehow used to how awesome it is. Ridiculous, I say! Ridiculous.

  5. Oh God so we actually meet his family before they punch people in the heart in 3rd one? :/ Oldman has really taken some bizarre toles lately