An annoying aftereffect of James Franco's Academy Awards disaster: We can no longer unhear his distance from and sense of superiority toward all his material. Surely, he is much more invested in his new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, than he was in the Oscars, and yet, still, when he's giving serious speeches as a smart scientist who has found a drug that "allows the brain to repair itself. We call it the cure," the whole thing feels arch, unintentionally or otherwise. Too bad, because Rise of the Apes seems like it could be kind of great sci-fi film if you could suspend your disbelief, in that it wholly, unabashedly commits to its premise. Franco's character tests the aforementioned "cure" on an ape and there's a side effect: increased brain function. Suddenly there are hundreds of highly intelligent apes menacing the citizenry in extremely creepy ways. The slow, pounding backing track on this trailer sets the self-serious mood, and apes moving over cars en masse is an alarming sight. One ape even takes down a helicopter. Who needs aliens, when you have simians?
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