Sunday, 19 June 2011

Cinemaniacal: The Plot Holes Of The Apes...

The internet has seen the recent release of various trailers for the reboot/prequel of the Planet Of The Apes franchise called Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Here's one of them now...

Now I was a big fan of the original movies. I saw all the movies on TV, had the action figures fighting with my Star Trek figures, and I even watched the short lived TV series when the
Great Money Movie would re-run them in two-episode blocks.

However, I avoided the remake from 2001. Sure the make up and special effects were slicker, but the originality and novelty was long gone, and any attempt to recreate the kick in the nuts shock quality of the ending of the first movie would just be jerking the audience's chain.

I will also avoid
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes for a variety of reasons.

1. No Roddy McDowall. While Charlton Heston
provided the square jawed heroics in the first movie, it was McDowall, playing various Chimp characters who provided the humanity.

2. Explaining how it happened kind of ruins the metaphor. What made the original movie work was that the roots of the Apes inheriting the Earth was left vague. Everything was summed up with "You maniacs, you blew it up!" The apes existed to make a point about the human race. The sequels lost some of this emotional/intellectual impact when they eventually did attempt to explain what happened in the sequels. However, since the sequels were based on a time travel premise they created a complete circular cluster-fark and ends telling you that a whole new future, independent of the events of the other movies, has been forged.

3. The plot. I can sum up the whole movie. Doctor Franco tries to cure Alzheimer's disease, but it makes his test monkey super-smart. Super-smart monkey gets treated meanly by the sinister corporate executive guy, and their minions the obnoxious redneck guys, making smart monkey want revenge. Super-Smart Monkey makes the other downtrodden apes super smart, and the few hundred or so apes somehow bring down the entirety of human civilization by jumping on helicopters and throwing parking meters at cop cars.


What happens?

Does the EPA declare the rebelling
apes an endangered species, barring humanity from fighting back?

Because unless something like that happens, the humans will grab their guns and the apes will soon realize that their poorly opposed thumbs aren't very good in a gunfight. Remember, even if every ape on the planet becomes super-smart, they are still outnumbered by the armed military personnel of the world.

That part of the premise makes as much sense as this picture from my childhood:
And that's not a lot of sense.

At least original franchise had the idea of apes being used first as pets, then as omnipresent slave labor in every facet of society. It was a bit of a stretch credibility wise, but it gave them the excuse they needed to have intelligent apes in every city and every house in the world.

When they rose up, there was a scintilla of a chance of succeeding.

I don't see any sign of that in this new movie. Just a handful raising hell in one city, waiting to be gunned down or bombed into oblivion by the police and military.

If they wanted to go beyond CGI monkey action they should have taken an entirely different tack. Doctor finds cure for Alzheimer's that makes the test monkeys super smart. After it eliminates Alzheimer's disease, the humans start abusing the cure thinking it will make them smarter too, but instead it makes them crazier. Civilization starts to fall apart, and the smart apes go off to hide in a safe corner, watching nuclear apocalypse swallow up their homo sapiens cousins. The smart apes then decide, let's build our own civilization, and not make the mistakes they made.

It still cheapens the metaphor/mythology created in the original film, but it at least doesn't stretch credibility beyond even the capabilities of science fiction.

That's my opinion, though I do tend to be right about these sorts of things.

UPDATE: Word is out on how the film ends. Click here for my thoughts on the ending. Warning it contains SPOILERS.


  1. Dirty McDingus States:
    With that idea, it's little wonder why you're still here and not there manning one of those studios and building multiMILLION dollar WC. The idea written here is a the beginnings of a great movie with extra editing involved. It's logical and nails the hubris of Man to a T better than that lame ass game 'b=shock' every did.
    Drop the clear thinking and since you're a great blogger with lots of proof of how good you are to put letters to digits write ANTI-conservative scripts for the soon red carpet treatment you richly deserve!

  2. I saw the trailer last week when I was at the cinema, and my first and only thought was "How is this even remotely plausible?"

  3. I saw a trailer last night and my first thought was "wait, this isn't a comedy"?

    Maybe because I just watched it, but I can't help but notice how much this seems to be like Gremlins 2.

    Except Gremlins 2 was awesome.

  4. Random fact I just found on tvtropes.

    Gorillas cannot swim. This was even referenced in the remake of Planet of the Apes.

    This applies to pretty much all of the great ape species aside from humans. In addition to a more tall, thin body design (granting a more efficient stroke), humans have a higher percentage of body fat and larger lungs in proportion to mass than other large primates, giving them greater buoyancy. Still, humans are poorly equipped for swimming in comparison to many mammals, and very skinny humans often have trouble swimming efficiently because their legs and feet tend to sink.

    So Humans win by standing on an island and taunting the apes?

  5. the way it works is kind of how you described it, yes the apes go on to live in the redwoods outside of san fran but know where the genius medicine is kept at and was used by the smartest ape to catch up the other primates but the strain also is fatal to humans and gets out into the population by a pilot and the end shows that the virus spreads all around the world seemingly killing off the human race

  6. Just to give you an update since you don't plan on seeing the movie. Its implied that humans eventually die off because of a virus (which could of been avoided, but the humans in this movie are dumb as rocks). You are not missing out on anything by skipping this film There are plot holes all over, plus no real "rise" in apes. But, let's be real, if they did rise, well it wouldn't last long before weapons got involved. After all, the apes (about 50, although they seem to increase in numbers magically) are super smart not super strong. *sigh*

  7. The point people seem to be missing is that the virus in the movie was contagious, and could infect people as well as monkeys. Where as the virus made a super breed of apes, it killed people, and the air port scene at the end demonstrated that the virus was highly contagious. The movie ended on the assumption that the virus exterminated the vast majority of the human race, which would have made it plausible for the apes to conquer us, as there would have been nothing but shambles to conquer.

  8. My question is where is the part where the government sends in the f-15's to napalm the forest. Or that corp who developed the virus deciding to use there knowledge of the virus to try and create a vaccine.
    Also why did franco's dad have to keep getting re injected while everything human or ape alike only have to get dosed once. Or the part where the corporation wouldn't have let there monkeys bone each other, or where they somehow didn't noticed one of there lab animals having a child. Or the fact that the corporation knew that guy had been exposed yet didn't study /monitor him for health reasons as well as an accidental but still very viable human trial? Truly the movies plot has more holes then swiss cheese and the whole situation was not ridiculous in terms of causing the extinction of man and a new race of super monkeys.