I’ve already voiced my skepticism about the new Planet of the Apes revival, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but apparently the apes have silenced the doubters.
The film has come in at #1 at the box office with a $54 million take, not to mention it’s also gotten very good critical marks as well.
As an old school Apes fan, I didn’t think the series should be brought back, but I can see where Fox just couldn’t resist trying, because it was one of the studio’s biggest franchises.
Also we’re in a time of rebooting, and the Tim Burton remake just didn’t cut it. Good, bad or indifferent, a new Apes movie would make money, but this one has also apparently been beating expectations with critics and skeptics like myself.
According to the Associated Press, the box office take was higher than initially expected, and Andy Sirkis has also gotten high marks for his motion capture performance. The Apes movies are usually tour de forces for make-up and effects, and this time instead of the make-up wizardry of John Chambers and Rick Baker, CGI and motion capture has apparently taken another big leap.
“One never knows exactly where the human ends and the effects begin,” wrote Roger Ebert, “but Serkis gives the best performance in the movie.” The New York Daily News called Serkis “a CGI Streep,” while the court of public opinion also weighed in on the film with an 81% Tomatometer rating and a 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site described the film as “briskly paced, emotionally satisfying, and much smarter than your average blockbuster.”
The reviews have also mentioned the apes performed better than James Franco, with the San Francisco Chronicle writing, “Franco is not the star, he’s the co-star,” and that the movie’s his “Bedtime For Bonzo,” referring to the hilarious oldie where Ronald Reagan has to babysit a chimp. (It actually became popular again on video when Ronnie became president).
Guess the apes won over humanity in more ways than one.