Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Brute Strength on the Big Screen

It has been way too long since my last movie review. That means that I have either been extremely busy or there have not been many movies recently which have peaked my interest. With this hiatus from the theater I am left with little time to complete the summer blockbuster list. I had to choose between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Captain America: The First Avenger. I preferred to see Captain America first because it has been out longer, but due to time restraints I decided on Rise of the Planet of the Apes starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, and Andy Serkis as the star ape, Caesar.

Just watching the trailer I knew that Rise would be a great summer movie for me to enjoy complete with action, a good story, and the origin theme (which you know I like from my previous reviews). I have never seen the original Planet of the Apes movies from 40 years go nor the 2001 remake, but I was very familiar with the story as most people are. That being said, there was no prep work or studying to do before or after the movie in order to see how Rise fits into the story arc and all questions could be answered based on this knowledge.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes begins in the Genesis bio-tech laboratory where Will Rodman (James Franco) is testing an Alzheimer's drug on apes before human testing begins. This experimentation leads to a some problems, a shut down of the lab, and we are first introduced to Caesar. Rodman and Caesar's relationship grows throughout the movie, but as the two become separated it is clear that lines must be drawn between human and ape. It is interesting to see how both Rodman and Caesar answer this question. In addition, this is the philosophical portion of the movie which asks us to look as ourselves and determine if humans are actually humane or if others species should have that tag line.

Because the movie is about apes there is no unnecessary dialogue and this gives drama and body language the opportunity to tell the story. This is done quite well as I was able to become emotionally involved in the story and also root for the apes throughout the plot. Also, the apes were made very well and the computer animation that was done was done well so that it was not distracting and added entertainment value to the movie.

The movie had an obvious outcome because it is a prequel, but it was crafted impressively and the finale gave everyone some closure. In fact, I thought that the manner in which the apes would rise to power was not what the movie actually had in store for the audience. I won't go any further because I don't want to mention any possible spoilers.

All in all Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a great summer movie that I recommend to all. It has even inspired me to go out and rent the originals from 40 years ago.

Pills gives Rise of the Planet of the Apes 4/5 Irons.


  1. R Korn said...

    I liked this movie, it was a bit of a slow starter though. It was cool to see how the story began. Even caught the announcement of space shuttle being launched with the astronauts that were going to be the focus of the original Planet of the Apes.

    I saw the 2001 remake, i didn't think that was very good at all and I was familiar with original movies and TV show so that was necessary to connect some of the dots.

  2. I wasn't sure about this movie because of all the computer animation. However, you got me with the rise occuring in a different manner than the obvious way. I'll have to check it out