Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Written by: Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle, Rick Jaffa
Starring: Andy Serkis, Brian Cox, Freida Pinto, James Franco, John Lithgow, Terry Notary, Tom Felton
Will Rodman is a scientist who is experimenting with a cure for Alzheimer’s on apes. Recent tests show amazing intelligence on one ape, but when said primate goes ‘ape’, all the animals are put down and the lab shut down. However the trial ape had a baby, and Will takes it home to his family where it exhibits increased mental growth. When Will tests the drug on his sick father, who names the ape Caeser, he becomes much better. However when an incident results in Caeser biting someone, he is shipped off to a primate ‘sanctuary’, where life is far tougher than he is used to. His intelligence, though, still grows…………
After Tim Burton’s awful Planet of The Apes remake, there was only one way for the ‘Apes’ series to go and that was up. This movie takes the basic premise of Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes – apes rising up against their human masters – and spins a very different story out of it. The result is probably the best ‘Apes’ movie since the 1968 original and quite possible the best ‘blockbuster’ so far this year, though it’s far from perfect. The majority of the film is build up but the plotting is very good and the film moves at a swift pace, with scenes mostly short and to the point. Caeser is quite simply the most convincing character ever created – I for one am very critical of CG effects, basically because I think they are lazy and often very poor, but in this movie they are superb. You really think Caeser is there and because of that you empathise with him greatly, resulting in some extremely touching scenes which are genuinely touching but not overdone, but the other apes are all very well done too. The action climax is terrific, with the sight of apes running riot probably the coolest spectacle seen on cinema screens so far this year, though the film then seems to suddenly stop and I could have done with a bit more simian rampaging. James Franco isn’t given any chance to display his character’s moral dilemmas and Frieda Pinto just didn’t need to be in the movie at all, in fact the human side of the story seems rushed, but it’s the ape’s show, and that works fine. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is a blockbuster crafted with great care, scripted and directed so it results in maximum audience manipulation. Roll on the sequel.
[pt-filmtitle]Rise of the Planet of the Apes[/pt-filmtitle]