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Monkey See

I was hyped to see the latest installment in the Apes universe, aptly named, War for the Planet of the Apes. I’d already made my peace with the fact that James Franco’s character (from the first remade apes movie) is long dead and likely will not even make an appearance as a ghost. Sigh. His monkey pal, Caesar, has forgotten him. That’s sad, because I haven’t. Anyway, it’s Caesar’s performance that holds this way-too-long, thin-plotted film together.

Andy Serkis is mega-brilliant as the renegade ape leader, and really, in everything he does. If there is any justice (and true animal love) in Hollywood, he should get an Oscar nomination. I am not the only one who thinks this.

But, eek, aside from the marvelous acting of the main ape, you have to deal with a primate-version of Dobby the House Elf, overplayed—even by Bonzo standards—by the normally-lovable Steve Zahn. It’s cringe worthy on the level of Jar-Jar Binks, and would’ve been a great, anti-zoo Peta-style message, were it not for the escalating annoyance factor. Bad Ape, indeed.

Hmm, other than that, I did like the plot point of the new human virus, which will lead us directly to the start of the 1968 movie. But did not care for the deep, nasally sounds of apes breathing, as I found myself breathing in sync and it clogged my sinuses. Worth seeing once, yeah, or just order the boxed set when it’s released.

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