Plot: In the wake of her son’s cancer diagnosis, Miranda (Louise Griffiths) is devastated and just wants to give her son the best possible life, so she pulls him out of school and puts him on a slate of medications. He refuses to undergo radiation treatment however, as he doesn’t want to lose his hair and be even less popular. Meanwhile, Miranda’s friend Riley (Jessica Morris) assures her that cancer is no problem whatsoever and if they use honey instead of shampoo, her son will be cured. Riley also happens to be in the middle of a bitter custody dispute over Simon, a chimpanzee who belongs to the owner of a scientific research lab, but she plans to free Simon once and for all. Will shopping at Whole Foods cure cancer and can a song override legal precedence?
Entertainment Value: I’ve seen a lot of outlandish, heavy handed social propaganda in movies, but Amazing Ape might take the cake, as it preaches from an ivory tower and has no idea how ridiculous the end result is. I mean, this is pure lunacy from start to finish, a never ending parade of ludicrous dialogue, hilariously bad performances, and oddball moments. A bad movie can be fun, but a bad movie that thinks it will save the world is on another level, so this is just magic. The narrative involves a child with cancer, a hyper intelligent chimp, and at the core of it is all the preachiest, infomercial style pitch for organic foods, holistic medicines, and equal rights for chimps. The chimps can speak and we’re given subtitles, but it is kind of like Family Guy’s Stewie or Lassie, where some characters can understand the chimps and some can’t. The plot is thin to say the least, just an indictment of modern life and an insistence that cancer is due to using deodorant, but it is also over the top and hilarious, even the drawn out segments offer some wild laughs and disbelief. The cast is sincere and atrocious, which only makes the campiness all the more ridiculous and humorous. If you appreciate terrible, but hilarious movies, don’t miss Amazing Ape.
No nakedness. No blood. This seems to have been made with a family audience in mind, so the lack of sleaze and violence isn’t a concern. The movie is all about letting us know 90% of the products ever created cause cancer, so there’s little time for romance, though there is some mild stun-gun antics at one point. The dialogue here is delusional, beyond over the top, and jaw dropping levels of awful, in other words, endless lines that baffle and entertain in unintended ways. This was meant to be a serious, socially minded movie, but it plays like a manic, conspiracy theory driven rant from a lunatic, but it is constantly hilarious. As bad as the writing is, it is only made all the worse and more outlandish by the cast, who delivers some of the worst efforts in recent memory. I mean, we have a child actor who makes you root for his death, while our heroine Riley is a total mess, this is just fantastic stuff. As if you can’t tell from my description of the dialogue, Amazing Ape is unhinged, unintentional madness, from the script to the abysmal acting to the hilarious social call to arms. This is one of those rare movies that gets it all wrong, but still manages to be wildly entertaining. If you have even a casual interest in the best of the worst in cinema, you need this one.
Overall Insanity: 10/10