Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FILM REVIEW: Ape Come Back, Rule Earth

Caesar looks tough, but his heart is as big as the Golden Gate.
The cumbersome title, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," was poorly chosen. To give a real sense of it, the title should have been "Ape Come Back," or maybe "Ape Not Go Away So Human Better." Apparently the apes who roam the planet, not only at dawn but all day and night, speak English, but they clearly learned from reruns of the old 50s TV show "The Lone Ranger," since they sound just like Tonto, the ranger's Native American sidekick. They say things like "no trust human with gun," and "ape no kill ape." (FYI, the latter turns out to be quite far from the truth.)

The time is after the death of most humans, who succumbed to an epidemic of Simian Flu that started in a laboratory when scientists used chimps to find a cure for Alzheimer's. Everybody got the flu and died, except for all the people who didn't. Those are the people in this movie. Clustered in a nightmare version of San Francisco, they're doing fine. (They have gas for their cars although God knows what they eat since nobody is farming and there are no restaurants.) The big problem is that they lack power and are about to run out of fuel, and then who knows what will happen.

Luckily a couple of brilliant survivors know that they can save the day by repairing a stopped-up dam somewhere up-river. How they know, what river, and how they fix it in a day is a mystery, but none of that matters. What matters is that the apes live at the busted dam, and they don't want any humans around doing dastardly human work. Remember, ape no trust human.

Blah, blah, blah...go read a real review if you want details. What I'm here to say is that Caesar, the head ape, is a great guy and would make a much better president than Obama. I would vote for him in a heartbeat. The extraordinary sets are worth the price of admission, as are the convincing ape costumes, which must have set the investors back several million dollars right there. And don't miss the scene where the baddest ape commandeers an Army tank, shooting at everyone in his path. That's a good one. As for the plot, it's stupid, silly and of course pro-human, since the evil apes are the ones who start the war while the angelic humans perform emergency surgery and cure the sick, even apes.

What's most interesting is that after having lain dormant for ten years, what with everyone being dead and no electricity, the minute power is restored all the computers and iPhones spring back to life, with pictures and videos from a decade earlier streaming in glitch-free, way better than mine do after a thunderstorm causes a brief outage in our neighborhood. Ape no have computer, but human do. Ape talk funny, but ape still know word "antibiotic." Lady ape have eyebrow piercings. Go figure.

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