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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A 2011 reboot of the popular science fiction film franchise.

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Reviewed: Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011]

  • Aug 17, 2011
Rating:
+3
12A - 105mins - Action/Drama/Sci-Fi - 11th August 2011
 
It's been 10 years since the last Planet of the Apes film and looking back, it is fair to say that the years have not treated it too well- the ape costumes are verging on amusing rather than scary. This latest reboot brings us an origins story painting a picture of the beginning of the end for the human race and the start of dominance for the apes on Earth. They have brought back this franchise again with a movie that isn't really part of said franchise. All other Planet of the Apes movies are set on a mystical planet whereas this is set on present day Earth and as such, although I understand why they did it (money money money), would have been better to disassociate with the Planet of the Apes brand.
 
Will Rodman (James Franco) is a researcher for a pharmaceutical company working on a cure for Alzheimer's- a disease close to his heart due to his father's (John Lithgow) battle with the disease. When his leading test subject breaks free and 'goes ape' she is put down along with the rest of the project. However Will discovers she was only protecting her newborn child who he takes home and raises as part of his family. It soon becomes apparent that the drugs subjected to the baby chimp's mother have been genetically passed on to him gifting the ape with extremely high levels of intelligence.
 
I'm not sure what I was wanting going into this movie and I'm not sure if what I saw was what I was expecting either. The success of the film hinges on the baby ape Caesar and his transformation from a curious and innocent ape to an older one who realises that no matter what his intelligence, he will never truly be accepted as more than an animal to those around him. As such, most of the film is based on the apes and Caesar's plight which puts the human cast into the background. This muddies the waters giving the film no clear answers as to who it wants you to get behind and support- the apes or humans.
 
Its been a long time since the love story of any film wasn't pushed and for once this has been achieved. So much so that I'm not really sure of the purpose of Caroline (Freida Pinto) at all. Tom Felton aka Malfoy lands a role so similar to his last that I was surprised he was not handed a cape and wand. If he was trying to shake his old persona this was not the way to achieve it. Ironically the one character I connected with and believed was the ape Caesar. Andy Serkis (aka Gollum, King Kong) has once again shown that body movement and facial expressions can trump speech any day and you really end up getting behind his story.
 
The movie links into the older franchise briefly and comes neatly to an end so why did it leave me longing for more. Not a longing in the sense that it was so good I needed my next hit but rather it felt as if it came to an end prematurely or at the very least they could have packed in a bit more humans Vs. ape action. The title in this sense is misleading. I would have gone for 'Minor Nuisance in a Local City District of the Apes' not quite as catchy you'll agree but certainly nearer to what you can expect. What I'm getting at is the film builds and builds and builds just to the point when your leaning on the edge of your seat then 5 minutes later the credits start rolling.
 
I feel like I've been left with a bit of a quandary as on the one hand I did enjoy the film, it was well acted, the script was very strong and the CGI exceptional but on the other it left me feeling somewhat unfulfilled that more was not done with the storyline. If a second movie follows then that's what I was expecting this one to be and it will certainly be near the top of my wish list for the future.
 

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August 17, 2011
"...unfulfilled that more was not done with the storyline. " I agree. I actually think that that is the issue with re-issues, remakes and reboots...options are limited, and it would be hard to get some surprises going.
 
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More Rise of the Planet of the Apes reviews
review by . August 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Remakes, prequels, re-boots, re-issues and re-imaginings often fall under one creative and narrative flaw. No matter how good a film is or tries to be, it always feels rather predictable. It is rather difficult to really judge the newest injection to the “Planet of Apes” franchise as director Rupert Wyatt tries his hand to re-boot and re-issue the core premise of the classic saga. Originally titled “Caesar and the Rise of the Apes”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” …
review by . January 22, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I was surprised that this is actually a pretty good film and a lot stronger reworking of the original storyline that that Wahlberg film a few years back. James Franco works in a lab and is trying to come up with a cure for Alzheimer's. He experiments on chimps and one shows a lot of promise. When a mistake leads to the chimp being killed and the project shut down, there is a slight wrinkle. The chimp in question was pregnant and was only protecting her newborn.    Franco takes …
review by . August 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' 'Two Jews On Film' Cheer This SciFi Cautionary Tale (Video)
         What makes 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' so unique is that it's the first live-action film to be told from the point of view of a sentient animal -- A chimpanzee--named Caesar...brilliantly portrayed by Andy Serkis, the world's foremost  performance capture actor.  Andy infuses Caesar with nuance, wisdom and most importantly... heart.        'Rise Of The Planets Of The Apes' …
review by . August 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         It’s tempting to judge Rise of the Planet of the Apes on the basis of the several marketing adjectives that have been applied to it. I’ve heard it referred to as a remake, a reboot, a revamp, a reimagining, and a prequel; it may in fact be all those things, but to be perfectly frank, I don’t see how that matters in the slightest. The best way to approach this film, I think, is to judge it on its own terms. And on its own terms, …
review by . August 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Now that the summer’s coming to a close, a focus is returning to the more idea and character-driven stories that signal the Fall Movie Season. Rise of the Planet of the Apes definitely feels like one of those slower films that works far better when it’s working on constructing an idea than when it’s trying to deliver on blockbuster action film. In the end though it’s still a emotionally dominant and technologically remarkable film that shouldn’t be missed. The film …
review by . September 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
      Rise of the Apes (as I like to call this movie because the title is too long and stupid) is probably the best "what-if" movie of the year. The so-called prequel to the original Planet of the Apes surely delivers the expected and probably exceeds our expectations. I wasn't sold at the beginning in Wyatt's talent as a director but now I'm convinced. He managed to reinvent this franchise by giving it exactly what it needs: a good story with a good amount …
Quick Tip by . August 16, 2011
This is my favorite of the series, by far. The reason: it's the most believable...well, except for Freida Pinto whose character really didn't add anything to the story. James Franco has quickly become one of my favorite actors ever since I saw him in Milk, Howl, 127 Hours and add this one to the list. He does a great job of balancing love for his pseudo-chimp child but, treating him like a pet and the dedicated scientist who is desperate to find a cure for Alzheimers. John Lithgow doesn't get the …
Quick Tip by . September 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
the preview pretty much summed up what I saw and it was a way better film than the last planet of the apes and the thought of a sequel to this makes it even better,, def worth a watch
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was so friggin' cool! Even more cool that it's based in my native San Francisco. I had no idea what to expect, only watching it because I saw positive ratings and because I had liked a previous Planet of the Apes film. This did not disappoint. The visuals are astounding and the plot just makes you think. This is one of those movies that you'll have to catch while it's on the big screen.
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James ()
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I, like so many others, am a film lover with my own blog. Feel free to drop on by and have a read.      Website:http://www.fanaticalaboutfilms.com      Site Twitter: … more
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Director: Rupert Wyatt
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: August 5, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Pierre Boulle, Rick Jaffa
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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