A couple of days ago I posted this story from the A.V. Club on our Facebook page. I was certain that people would want to see what the CGI apes in the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes were going to look like. I know I was. After all, it is still a movie about apes overthrowing humanity, and if the apes looked like crap, then, no matter what else it had going for it, the movie would be crap. Not a single person replied to the post though. Nobody even "liked" it. There was not a single iota of interest. So I have to ask, what the hell is wrong with you people?
Well, now there is an actual trailer, and it looks AMAZING! It's apes, and they are rising - rising up to destroy us all! Also, it's all James Franco's fault. (I knew all that higher learning he's been doing wasn't as innocuous as his student films and poorly written newspaper editorials would have us believe.) So I sincerely hope you care now.
Here are some reasons why you should in fact care about The Rise of the Planet of the Apes:
- Speculative fiction is important in teaching us how to handle possible futures. Everyone watches zombie movies and makes plans for the Zombie Apocalypse. Well, when the much more likely Chimpocalypse happens, you're going to wish you'd cared more. You're going to wish you took fucking notes!
- It is possible that speculative fiction about the impending Chimpocalypse can help us identify possible signs of an ape uprising so that we can stop it before they've organized. (Once the uprising starts, we're doomed.) For example, based on this trailer, I'd say we should not give apes drugs that will make them smarter. They are already too smart!
- I suspect that this movie might anger the apes. They can't be happy about WETA's ability to make realistic looking apes. You might now ask "Shouldn't we then ignore Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Try to squash it? Show the apes we are on their side?" I say it's too late for that. All we can do is enjoy the movie now. The damage is done!
- When I first saw the 4 seconds of ape footage, I knew that was an ape that couldn't be trusted. It was all shifty eyed. You could tell it was plotting something, probably to crush James Franco's head with a rock while he sleeps. And what do we see in the trailer but an ape standing at the foot of James Franco's bed, no doubt getting ready to crush his head. This is what will happen to you if you do not pay attention to the potential ape crisis at hand!
That trailer is pretty much the greatest thing ever. It's all creepy and fantastic. Plus, it's WETA. They're pretty much the only special effects company that can pull off this kind of animation without sending me running for the hills screaming, at least not in the bad Robert Zemeckis movie way. They seem to have really captured what makes apes both fascinating and eerie. The original Planet of the Apes franchise is classic, but I think it will be interesting to see a different interpretation of the same concept, even if it doesn't involve Ricardo Montalban and a circus.
So, are you excited now? Are you still disappointed that James Franco is playing a scientist instead of an ape? (I am...a little.) And what do you think of the fact that the title was recently changed from Rise of the Apes to the unwieldy Rise of the Planet of the Apes? (I understand why they would change it, but the Clash of the Titans-esque tagline "Apes Will Rise" would have been so much funnier with the previous title. I still want it on a t-shirt though.) Most importantly, what are your plans for the Chimpocalypse?