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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Review #67, Movie #99
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Year Of Release

Rupert Wyatt

Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle

James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo

And Andy Serkis

Notes And Trivia
Short trivia this timeÖ WETA, the guys behind LOTR (and whom created Andy Serkisí Gollum makeover) are the magicians who created the Apes for the film.



A team of scientists lead by Will Rodman, have been testing genetically engineered viruses on Apes in the quest to find a cure for Alzheimerís disease. Willís Father is also suffering from the disease.
In the process, an infant is born to one of the tested Apes and is found to be incredibly clever, at only a few days old he is feeding himself and using tools.

Raised from birth with Will and his Father, he is named Caesar and becomes disillusioned with his role in the family unit. Is he a pet? Is he just some thing that lives with them? What is his background? Many questions trouble Caesar, and he must come to terms with what Will reveals.

A while later after certain tragedies strike, the now fully grown Caesar is placed in a primate centre where he plots his escape and masters a plan to become the Alpha Male in this new world of Apes in which he now lives.


I was dubious about the rebooting of the series, especially after the Markymark remake that pretty much killed it off before it began. Man that film was gash!

Iím glad to say though that I was wrong, I was very wrong indeed.

The story is exactly that: A story.
Itís written brilliantly and plays out relatively simply so itís easy to follow, but the steps that the movie goes through to make the build-up possible is perfectly executed and extremely believable.

There are also homages of the original franchise with occasional glimpses of the Icarus Space Shuttle shown on various news broadcasts and newspapers, some of the Apesí names seen throughout and a few lines of dialogue too.

The film also successfully builds a sense of philosophy when it comes to Caesar actually being more humane than some of the Humans he comes into contact with.
Itís actually that good you find yourself on the side of the Apes rather than the humans and gives the viewer a completely different depth and outlook to the Apes' Franchise Legacy.

Thereís also the side of the Humans laced into it too which allows the viewer to see things from all sides. Good and bad Humans, and also good and bad ApesÖ itís very broad in the story telling and emotions of the characters.
Thereís also the occasional shock in the plotline too, especially with Caesarís abilities. At one point I actually said ĎWhoaí out loud.

One thing missing though is the Female Chimp called Cornelia. Thereís a small hint about a connection between her and Caesar, but itís incredibly glimpsing and I get the impression something was snipped from the final cut of the movie.

The acting is another bang-on-the-money bonus.
James Franco who is mediocre in my book is very likable and engaging. Itís by far his best role outside of 127 Hours. Definitely a worthy leading man.
Tom Felton feels a little typecast as a worker at the primate centre. He does his Draco Malfoy thing from Harry Potter but heís very slimy and smarmy and really makes for a good Ďbaddyí.
John Lithgow makes a welcome appearance as Francoís ill Father. Heís very loveable and you really make a connection with the character as he flits between normal and confused and frustrates and worries Will at the same time. I loved Lithgow in this film.

By far, of course, the best acting comes from Andy Serkis as Caesar. Imagine King Kong but with more of a personality and man-sized rather than 30 feet tall. Then multiply that performance by 100 and youíre getting relatively close. Serkis is absolutely fantastic.
You can also strangely tell itís Serkis doing it. The role reeks of him, but in a very, very good way.

Backup comes from Brian Cox as the primate centre owner, Freida Pinto as Willís new squeeze and David Oyelowo as Willís Boss. Thereís also too-many-to-count mime artists and motion capture people involved, but they all do a magnificent job.

As for the effects, well, where to begin?
You can tell that the Apes are CGI but itís extremely stylish and works fantastically with the tone of the movie.

The action is another plus point. Itís exciting and very well choreographed. Itís also smile-renderingly paced and contains some imaginative hints by the filmmakers. The end scene on the bridge and how the Apes use their surroundings is also wonderfully original.

The whole lot of action is held together brilliantly though with the acting involved and the fact you care, or hate, the respective characters involved. Itís also all held back in reality and doesnít go all Hollywood-Michael-Bay-OTT.

The soundtrack is also heart pounding and edgy.

The only downer is that the film is only 90 minutes long. It could really do with another hour, at least.


All in all, by far one of the best films of recent years and it certainly a surprised me in a pleasant way.
Great acting, great action, brilliant effects.

I just canít wait for the sequel.

My Rating: 100%