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James Franco Keeps Snickering His Way Through "Apes" Trailers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    James Franco stars in this prequel to the original classic that takes us back to a simpler time, when Man ruled the Earth. Sadly, this era appears doomed. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opens Aug. 5. (Published Thursday, Apr 14, 2011)

    The international trailer for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," loaded with way more plot, a lot more emotion and still plenty of James Franco gamely suppressing a giggle.

    There's a lot to like here, from Andy Serkis as the super-smart chimp, Caesar, and his relationship with John Lithgow as a man sliding into dementia; Freida Pinto is still insanely pretty; Tom Felton once again plays a raging turd and Rupert Wyatt's direction looks to be pretty sharp. But we're still having a hard time with Franco.

    "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

    [NATL] "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
    James Franco stars in this prequel to the original classic that takes us back to a simpler time, when Man ruled the Earth. Sadly, this era appears doomed. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opens Aug. 5. (Published Thursday, Apr 14, 2011)

    "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

    [NATL] "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
    James Franco stars as a scientist who unwittingly creates an army of super apes. Opens Aug. 5. (Published Wednesday, May 30, 2012)

    We like the guy, he's insanely talented, he appears to have a very genuine intellectual curiosity and has willfully ignored the Hollywood machine for pretty much his whole career. Yet, casting him as a world-class scientist on the brink of curing Alzheimer's isn't quite working for us, and we can't help but feel he's not taking the whole "Apes" thing terribly seriously. The film needn't be an earnest affair, watching Franco announce that he's cured a terrible disease, there's a lack of gravity to the moment that makes it feel like he's doing camp while everyone else is on another plane.

    "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opens Aug. 5.