Monday, 8 August 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

While rebooting this franchise seemed like an extremely iffy idea, the news that they were using Weta performance capture technology (complete with master performer Andy Serkis) made it worth a look. And indeed, it's a thoroughly involving summer movie that actually layers in some thoughtful substance with the lively action-thriller plot. Not only does it create an intriguing back-story for the franchise, but it bodes well for future episodes.

A superior cast helps too, with the almost too engaging James Franco in the central role, facing off against the gorgeous (and rather gratuitous) Freida Pinto, an over-emotive John Lithgow and three talented Brits in the bad-guy roles: Brian Cox and Tom Felton as father-son slimeballs and the superb David Oyelowo in the thankless greedy jerk role. Put all together, it's a sometimes thrilling romp packed with chilling moments and some gentle commentary on the dangers of tinkering with nature.


Back in London, my screening diary is already filling up, starting with the remake of Conan the Barbarian and the adaptation of the mega-bestseller One Day and moving on to festival favourite Take Shelter and New York Times doc Page One. But the biggest event is Empire magazine's Big Screen, a Comic-Con style indulgence in upcoming movies, stars and cinematic experiences that takes place Fri-Sun at the 02. I'll have full coverage here over the weekend.

No comments: