It has been ten years since Fox last maligned the memory of…er…paid tribute to the original Planet of the Apes franchise. And that means one and only one thing:
This is a job for Hollywood’s favorite go-to gorilla, Andy Serkis.
“It’s not for nothing that my last name is pronounced ‘circus,’” said Andy.
Yes, performance capture sensors flock to Andy like porn stars to Charlie Sheen.
“These sensors crash at my house all the time,” said Andy from his palatial blue screen, which resembles an Italian villa when viewed through the camera. “They need to get away from being constantly berated by James Cameron and propositioned by Pauly Shore.”
With that, Andy popped the imaginary top off a performance capture soda, took an imaginary drink, and passed around an imaginary joint to his imaginary co-stars.
“They’re not all imaginary!” noted Andy. “What about John Lithgow? His character is moving in and out of Alzheimers, depending on whether or not he’s having a bad hair day.”
James Franco is a brilliant scientist. “My specialty is obviously not Oscar Hostology,” he says. It seems that Franco has developed a drug that can help the monkey brain grow intelligence while wiping out all of humanity in the process. Isn’t this the job of the local TV anchor team?
And so Franco must casually break every existing rule of scientific safety protocol in order to have a pet monkey named Caesar at home and a ready supply of lethal aerosol drugs in his fridge. Ah, science! You and your silly safety rules!
“I think that puts me in the Ricardo Montalban role,” says Franco, referring to an original Apes movie which featured the owner of another super-smart chimp named Caesar. “I hope so, because Serkis says he can make his blue screen home look like Fantasy Island.”
Franco lands a veterinarian girlfriend from Slumdog Millionaire. “I love you,” she coos. “And I love your prospects for international box office,” he coos back.
But before the apes take over, they must be treated cruelly so as to win our sympathies. After all, it’s tough to be sympathetic to a species that uses its own feces as projectiles.
And that task of simian cruelty goes to Brian Cox, who must be wearing performance capture sensors on his head because his hair is performing the color of much younger hair.
Brian takes Caesar into his mean old zoo where Caesar is the only ape in pants, but that doesn’t last long. This isn’t Planet of the Modest Apes, after all. It’s Planet of the Apes with Shadowy Genitals!
“Just make sure your genitals cast a long shadow,” advised Franco, as he handed Caesar off to Cox, whereupon you can make up your own pun.
That’s when we learn that apes are communicating with each other while the rest of us are forced to read subtitles.
“The great thing about this movie is that it will qualify for Oscar as a foreign language film,” said a Fox representative who swears to have met The Simpsons in person.
Unfortunately the filmmakers couldn’t resist stealing one of the most famous lines from the original, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”
“What we got here is…failure to communicate,” replied Cox.
“As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again,” said Caesar, the music swelling in a pants-free technicolor sunset. And show me a technicolor sunset made more beautiful by pants.
“Maybe we can make this movie famous by stealing lines from more famous movies the way Cher impersonators become famous by stealing 1985 Bob Mackie outfits from Cher?” suggested Franco.
And what do we learn?
That monkeys make loyal pets, intelligence is a bad thing, science is a bad thing, and pants are a bad thing.
So next time you throw feces in anger, thank Fox.
And don’t expect much of a rise out of this planet.