Somehow the thing I disliked most about Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the trite, simple plot and characters, felt correct this time around. Perhaps it kept what could’ve been convoluted and silly from becoming so. It also helped that it was full of small, smart details constantly reinforcing the symbolism and easing the audience’s understanding. And the efforts of Serkis and his fellow mo-cap actors delivered fantastic results. Finally, some great camera work solidified its place as one of the many reasons the summer of 2014 has been such a good one.
I was tempted to just copy/paste my review of Olympus Has Fallen, as they share so many faults. The forced plotting. The occational decent action in a sea of dumb decision-making. Though this one had Emmerich’s awful attempts at silliness to punctuate the badness. He also decided to make it more politically biased. Jamie Foxx (as a not-at-all disguised Obama) and Tatum worked fairly well together, but not enough to distract from the rest of the astounding ridiculousness.
Bigalow captures all the changing politics around the hunt for Bin Laden with detail and intelligence. Even some minor characters seem developed and real. It starts with depictions of torture that manage to avoid sensationalism without making them trivial. It ends with a gripping attack on the infamous compound. The journey between those points didn’t disappoint.