Here’s the deal, the movie is good, it’s definitely not a waste of time but it’s going to be overrated because anything that is decent is now considered fantastic.
Why is it overrated? The movie has been called “smart”, but it’s not that smart. It’s throws diversions to convince the audience it’s smart. The movie has been called very well paced, but it concerns itself more with moving fast than revealing character. There’s a huge problem with passage of time. That is, 8-10 years pass and NOTHING changes. Not hairstyles, not clothing, not characters, absolutely nothing except the CGI Ape Caesar.
The CGI is great, but give me models and make-up. The 1st Planet of the Apes created something incredible with their make-up, sets and music. They invented things. This one takes what works and has uses it. They use it well, it works well, but it’s still obviously CGI.
James Franco is solid, John Lithgow is wasted, Feida Pinto is beautiful and has almost nothing to say but does that so well you can think she’s really a good actress.
Watch Blowout for John Lithgow and what he can do. Watch 127 Hours for a fantastic James Franco performance, Slumdog Millionaire if you want Freida and Avatar if you’re looking for great CGI.
There are of course bad guy characters in Rise; the mean animal handler that has no personality other than just being mean. His father, the also wasted Brian Cox who just exists as a plot device. The neighbor who yells ridiculously in 3 of his 4 scenes though his character has a major purpose in the plot. No personalities are developed except Caesar’s and that only slightly. He asks a question, gets a bit of an answer and the audience never gets to see how he develops his leadership that becomes key to the whole story.
What should have happened? John Lithgow’s character should have been very instrumental in the lives of his son (Franco) and Caesar. He should have foreshadowed how man is not tolerant of something new. He should have had a monologue that inspires his son to leave the company that is (cliche’ alert) only concerned with profits and more importantly inspired Caesar to Rise up in rebellion when the time comes.
I’m not sure what to give this movie as a rating, especially because my opinion doesn’t really matter. The movie will win over people because what else is there? Another sequel, another comic book turned movie, another remake of a remake? This movie is the best of what’s there in this genre, so it will be very successful and that bums me out because it will keep Hollywood assured that making something original is not worth the effort.