Rise of the Planet of the Not So Believables

I’m on an airplane as I write this and have just seen most of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. “Seen” being a well chosen word, since I did not listen to it. A bad habit I picked up after flying to California entirely too much. I’ll put on my iPod, listening to whatever strange selection of music I was in the mood for that trip and watch, half hazardly, whatever movie was being played on the aircraft.

It leads to strange and sometimes appropriate mixture of soundtrack and sights. Like the time I watched some new romantic comedy, you know the one, that girl from some show was in it, and the guy who is a half time comedy and half time action star. They meet, fall in love, it doesn’t work, but then this thing happens, and, not to give it away, but in the end, they realize they are meant for each other and walk off into the credits with a happy, but unnatural smile. For this movie I listened to Seasons in the Abyss by Slayer.

So that is the setting, me, music, awkwardly humanoid apes running around a serious looking James Franco. I suspect that it goes something like this: they catch the apes, the zap them with SCIENCE! and then they become smart, in doing so realize that being a prisoner sucks and do something about it.

This is to lead us to the Planet of the Apes, which was on two channels higher, so I watched more of that instead. What can I say? Chuck Heston running around in a loin cloth is more manly than James Franco.

Anyway, the point of this rant (yes there as a point) was not about whether SCIENCE could do what it claims to do in this movie, or even if intelligent apes could collect and lead a rebellion against the evil humans. It is about the idea that this is supposed to be a prequel to a move where Apes RULED THE WORLD and a bare chested Chuck Heston was unhappy with them touching him.

In the original movies, the apes blow up the future, but somehow come back to the present and then their kid, Caesar is the one who leads the rebelling. The difference is all in the set up. In these stories we, humans, have been horrible to our mother, earth, and as such have basically killed off just about everything else. So dogs to fetch sticks, no fish to stare blankly. No cats to wake you up in the middle of the night so you can pet them. Apparently we got lonely. So we started keeping apes. Well, all of the species of apes, gorillas, orangutans, etc. as pets. But! then they became smarter. Not Caesar smart, I mean, he could talk, but like robots. Hey Chippy! Go get me a beer! and he would. Isn’t that nice?

So (yes yes, the point) when Caesar starts that rebellion there are a few important differences. The first is the shere number of apes. They are everywhere, tons of them. They are in our homes, in our work places, on the streets. In this new movie, not so much. Just a few dozen or so in a lab that go reek havoc on San Francisco.

And here is where I have the issue. The numbers presented in an incredibly low budget movie present a situation where there is a real threat to the humans. Caesar raises an army. But this new one? One AC-130 could have fixed the problem fairly quickly. We have serious military hardware, with seriously trained soldiers on how to use them. The numbers, the intelligence, the plausibility of the situation isn’t there.

You say this leads to a decaying Statue of Liberty on the beach and a camera fad as Chuck Heston gets beaten by the incoming tide and I say bullshit.

As a story, well as a silent movie, it was fun, and I don’t have anything against it as it is. It is the connection to the future movie that I don’t buy. And I don’t. Though It was fun seeing Rodney run away form the scary thing in the trees. This is the danger of a prequel. No matter how good your story is, it has to fit with the unchanging stories that have already been seen as well as live in the most real of believability.

Where will this Caesar find his army? Not in Muir woods where the are left by the end of the movie. Could you still get there? Perhaps. But I suspect that when (yes, when) the sequel to this prequel comes out that there will be a few leaps of faith made to bring you to Chuck Heston. Or Marky Mark. Either way.

oh and I was listening to Aqua, but then switched to Tupac.