Back To Back Movie Reviews: Captain America and The Rise of The Planet Of The Apes

I’ve not done this ever, but my fiance and I watched two movies at the cinema in the course of a single week (most of the time we’re just too busy with work to do this). We caught both Captain America: The First Avenger and Rise of The Planet Of The Apes.

Lets start with the good stuff first. Rise of The Planet Of The Apes is, IMHO, a pretty smart re-boot of the original series and it serves as a reminder that the road to hell, is indeed paved with good intentions. James Franco’s scientist character, Will, develops a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and tests the cure on chimpanzees.

This ultimately leads to the creation of Caesar, a super-smart chimp, no thanks to the cure (a virus really) being passed to him in-vitro by his mum, Bright Eyes (heh…the movie starts fast with the references to the first film in the original series). A stronger cure created by Will results in even smarter apes but proves to be fatal to humans, killing them off, resulting in the titular “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”.

The film however suffers from one fatal storytelling flaw, Will isn’t cast as the bad guy and he gets off easy (no tragic death by gunfire, helicopter, virus or ape), with just a longing look in his eyes that the ape he raised can now talk and is now “free”. The film relies on the likes of Brian Cox (yup…Hannibal Lektor) and Tom Felton (yup…Draco Malfoy) as two really bad zookeepers who give Caesar a really hard time in an ape sanctuary he was interred in, to deliver the goods.

That’s pretty “Meh” as the two sideshows prove to be lightweight and I seriously thought that Will should had have it coming (you know, as a poster boy for animal testing and generally for killing off the human race). I did enjoy the movie (like I said, it’s a smart re-boot), and fans of the original Planet of the Apes movie are going to love the references to that film. Lines like “It’s a madhouse” and “Get your hands off me, you damned, dirty ape” somehow managed to show up in the script. This movie is a MUST WATCH.

Okay, now, the bad stuff. I became a fan of Captain America when Marvel’s Ultimates line-up helped create a jumping-on point for new comic book readers back in the year 2000. Yup, the first books I collected were The Ultimates by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch and this was basically a revamped version of The Avengers.

You can tell that the books are pretty influential, their particular version of Nick Fury, and to some extent, Hawkeye are what you see on the silver screen today. And this brings up the problem I have with the movie. The Ultimates version of Captain America is pretty damn bad-assed. He’s a master tactician and field commander, jumps off planes without a chute, and has no qualms about kicking ass (basically killing people) and taking names.

Chris Evan’s potrayal of Cap on the other hand reminded me of a cute puppy…that was something I highlighted ever since I saw the trailer to the movie. My fiance mentioned that the movie made her laugh. And that sums up Captain America: The First Avenger. It has its moments, but it’s ultimately a joke.

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