Is 2011 the summer of the good prequel? With X-Men: First Class hitting theaters and earning mostly good reviews, it would be great to see that trend continue with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The film, which stars James Franco, Brian Cox, and Frieda Pinto, hits theaters in August, but the latest trailer seems to show much of that uprising in action. Check it out…

We’ve been informed that the monkey mayhem toward the end of the trailer is from the third act, so the question becomes “how does the film function in total?” Is there an interesting science fiction idea at the heart of the film, or is it a lot of waiting around for the monkeys to get their revolution on? And how will Franco be in a more straight-laced science role? Is he believable as a genius-level scientist, or is he too lightweight?

These are the unknowns, but the knowns are that when the Apes start attacking things and people, it looks pretty cool. My impression is that many of the effects are unfinished, and perhaps like First Class, the trailer team is working with the footage that is most complete, and I would guess that the effects houses probably started with the end stuff first. This could prove frustrating to viewers who are waiting for the expected, but still. As a fan of the original series, hopefully there’s some smart stuff in the midst of this simian warfare, but regardless, it’s high on our list of the most anticipated films of the summer.

Did Tim Burton’s reimaging sour you on all that is monkey?