Will the UK Riots Delay RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Release?

Do not be surprised if pressure is put on 20th Century Fox to review the imminent release of their big summer blockbuster. And then a deeper question is... should it?

In a week that has seen cities across England ransacked by gangs of rioting youths, what a coincidence it is that the big cinema release of the forthcoming weekend sees a major city being overrun by troops of wild apes in scenes reminiscent of those that have dominated the British news for the past 72 hours. While the vast majority of audiences would enjoy the movie as a fantastic piece of storytelling, be marvelled by the amazing visual effects and appreciate the commentary on art imitating life (I gave the film 5 stars in my review and it deserves your attention), which now carries even greater resonance, there is the fear that some will be influenced and incited by the piece; thus leading to scenes that the press would no doubt dub as €˜life imitating art€™. In addition to this there will be question marks surrounding the suitability of a release that deals with such subject matter given the thousands of people who have been directly and seriously affected by the riots. So do not be surprised if pressure is put on 20th Century Fox to review the imminent release of their big summer blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And then a deeper question is... should it? The question then becomes when will it be appropriate to release it? A week later? A month? Not considering the issue of timing for Fox, who have negotiated this weekend to capitalise on audiences by avoiding competition from the likes of Harry Potter, Captain America, Conan and Final Destination 5, but focusing on when it will be considered appropriate to release this film on moral grounds. How long will have to pass before it is thought safe to release it without any actions of individuals being attributed to it? Which then brings us to the question of to what extent does Hollywood and the arts in general have responsibility over the behaviour of it€™s consumers? Video games like Grand Theft Auto have already come under attack and blamed for the riots; they have been in England for years and this is the first instance of riots on this scale. Ben Affleck saw the theatrical release of his sublime directorial debut €˜Gone Baby Gone€™ shelved for months because of the parallels with the Madeleine McCann kidnapping. Then when eventually released months later hampered by the media storm that surrounded it and the film suffered. So while I will completely understand if Fox decides to delay the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes amidst concerns of inciting further trouble or a media backlash on the grounds of insensitivity, I shall see it as a great shame if a film that is so deserving of attention and praise becomes another victim of the insanity that has swept across this country, caused by a minority of cretins who aren€™t worthy of being mauled to death by a shrewdness of apes! What are your thoughts on this... and has your local cinema been affected by the ongoing violence?
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Frustratingly argumentative writer, eater, reader and fanatical about film ‘n’ food and all things fundamentally flawed. I have been a member of the WhatCulture family since it was known as Obsessed with Film way back in the bygone year of 2010. I review films, festivals, launch events, award ceremonies and conduct interviews with members of the ‘biz’. Follow me @FilmnFoodFan In 2011 I launched the restaurant and food criticism section. I now review restaurants alongside film and the greatest rarity – the food ‘n’ film crossover. Let your imaginations run wild as you mull on what that might look like!