Rise of the Planet of the Apes


Review by Marc Berman

Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist for a pharmaceutical company. He has been working on a project for over five years that holds promise for curing Alzheimer’s Disease, which incidentally his father Charles (John Lithgow) is also suffering from. A chimp named Bright Eyes exhibits incredible intelligence and he believes that the new drug is ready for human trials, until the chimp flips out and ruins the entire project; the boss, Mr. Jacobs (David Oyelowo), instructs the chimp handler Robert (Tyler Labine) to destroy all of the apes due to contamination. When doing his duties, he finds a newborn in Bright Eyes’ cage. Will brings him home.

Year after year passes and the chimp, now called Caesar, lives in the attic of Will’s home and is becoming more intelligent with each passing day. When Caesar gets hurt, he brings him to the zoo veterinarian, Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto) and this starts a relationship between her and Will. Will also starts his father on the Alzheimer’s treatment drug and sees immediate changes in him.

Eventually Caesar ends up in a rescue center run by the shady John Landon (Brian Cox) and his sadistic son Dodge (Tom Felton). It takes Caesar some time to get used to being around other apes, but he eventually comes into his own and, with his intelligence, becomes the leader.

A bunch more stuff happens and all I have to say is Apes DO rise.

I have been awaiting the arrival of this film for sooo long, and it was worth the wait!! I am a huge fan of the original POTA films (not so much the Mark Wahlberg version) and the thought of an origin prequel really got my juices flowing. Although there are human beings in the film, they don’t so much matter, all of the performances are OK (Lithgow maybe a little bit better than others) but this is really ALL about the CGI and the incredible performance, once again, by Andy Serkis as Caesar. The emotion that is created by this CGI acting is breathtaking, truly beautiful to watch. The viewer really believes these animals are real, stunningly really.

If you haven’t had a chance to see this film yet, go to your local theater and watch it…it is friggin’ awesome.

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Release Date: August 5, 2011
Run Time: 105 Minutes
Country: USA
Rated: PG-13
Distributor: 20th Century Fox


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