We did it! One of the first groupons we bought was for a local theatre, and basically allowed us to go to a movie for $5 per show. (Of course, I remember when movie theatres actually charged this much, so it was a bit nostalgic for me. You know how your parents always said, “When I was a kid, things weren’t nearly this expensive.” That’d be me.) Anyway, we finally got around to seeting our second movie: only a week before it tan out. As something of an addendum to my post on Cowboys and Aliens, I thought I’d describe our second groupon experience: Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
It was excellent. The original Planet of the Apes series of movies actually pre-dated me slightly; for even the last one I would have been too young to go and see it in a theatre. However, I grew up with the films and the plots as a distant backdrop to my interest in science fiction. I was therefore pleased to see that although this was a completley new movie with a completely new plot, there were a number of nods (references) to the previous series of movies.
The special effects were well done; unlike the previous movies, which used human actors in ape suits (fairly good for 4 decades ago), this one used digital manipulation to produce the apes. It was quite effective. And beyond that: the storyline was good. There were a couple of key characters who treated the intelligent ape well, but otherwise most of the human population was greedy and abusive toward the animals. I found myself easily rooting for the apes in their newly found freedom when it came to the scenes that involved fighting. It was also interesting to see the newly explained reason for the collapse of the human population: in the 60s it had been nuclear war, in 2011 it is an engineered virus with great hopefuls that goes horribly wrong. Each incorporates the social concerns of the time into its plot.
But I have to say: there is definitely my favourite part of the movie. David Hewlett, who plays Rodney McKay in the Stargate series of television programs (and who is one of the worst representations of a Canadian personality in modern media), gets his comeuppance. Multiple times.