Truth be told, it was a film that no one really expected to be good. Our last recollection of the Planet of the Apes franchise was a poorly made Tim Burton remake starring Mark Wahlberg that earned a lot of money, sure, but just didn’t take the franchise to a new level. However, sometimes when you go into a film with low expectations that’s always the perfect opportunity to surprise the heck out of audiences, and that’s exactly what 20th Century Fox did with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. They marketed it just fine, but they didn’t screen it a month before or premiere it at Comic-Con — they held it to the last minute and then dumped what is perhaps the summer’s best film on a tired and weary audience that definitely did not see it coming.
The special effects are amazing and Oscar worthy, and there’s now talk of a best supporting Oscar nomination for Andy Serkis’s mo-cap portrayal of the lead ape Caesar. At a time when all the big-screen gimmicks tossed on us over the past couple years (3D, Smell-O-Vision, D-Box) have failed to do anything but irritate us more than entertain, it’s fantastic to see a film come along and prove that technology really is advancing to a place that will blow our minds even without those cheap add-on gimmicks.
Sound off below with your thoughts on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Do you think it’s this summer’s best film, or close to it? Where would you rank it alongside the other Planet of the Apes movies?