Rise of the Planet of the Apes

16 Sep

After a decade since ‘Planet of the Apes’ released in 2001, a reboot in the form of a prequel, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, appeared in cinemas with plenty of negative hype regarding the extremely long name and the pointlessness of a reboot of a reboot quite possibly made to cash in on a partially successful franchise.

The story is about scientist Will Rodman (James Franco), who is hell bent on curing Alzheimer’s that has haunted his father, Charles Rodman (John Lithgow) and an ape called ‘Caesar’ (motion-captured Andy Serkis) whose mother, a test subject, hands down the cure that enhances the primate to near human intelligence and his realization of where his kind stand in the world of humans.

James Franco as Will Rodman

Will’s emotional connection to his need to find a cure to save his dad is beautifully scripted. You connect with his plight and elation in the roller coaster ride. James Franco as Will does a fine job at essaying those emotions. Charles’ constant battle with Alzheimer’s is beautifully portrayed by John Lithgow clearly outshining the other (human) actors. Freida Pinto as Will’s girlfriend Caroline Aranha is passable with zero chemistry. Tom Felton (as Dodge Landon), David Oyelowo (as Steven Jacobs), Brian Cox (John Landon), Tyler Labine (as Robert Franklin) and James Harris (as Rodney) are reasonable in their respective supporting roles.

Zero chemistry...Freida Pinto as Caroline Aranha with James Franco

The most in-depth character has to be that of Caesar who you begin to adore from the moment you first lay your eyes on him wrapped in a blanket as a baby. As he grows, your connection and understanding towards him gets stronger, and by the end of it, you not only believe in his actions but cheer him on. Kudos to Director Rupert Wyatt, for choosing motion-capture instead of makeup because those eyes look stunning, and then believing in a character that utters less than 10 words throughout the movie. Also, good call by the script writers to shift the spotlight from Will’s struggle to Caesar’s march for freedom in the second half, keeping you on the edge till the end, something prequels tend to suffer at with their inevitable predictability.

The eyes say it all

With a skilfully portrayed script sewing all the subplots into a tight little knot, the film tops out with some simple but effective action scenes (Read: no apes ripping humans apart) at the end where you uncomfortably find yourself rooting for the apes who fight in an almost forgiving way unlike the gun/baton baring humans.

Caeser...Paving a better future

The camera work puts you in the right places throwing you in or pulling out of the action at the right moments. The soundtrack starts off on a soft note, picking up decibels by the end of the movie playing along perfectly with the story. CGI is among the best I’ve seen with a lot of detailing on the apes with what seemed like precise physical movements.

David Oyelowo as Steven Jacobs...surrounded

With almost zero expectations at the start due to rather misleading trailers, it isn’t often that as a film progresses, my expectations sky rocket. Apart from a slightly hurried ending, it is a very well made film and possibly one of the better summer films this year.

Evolution becomes Revolution


One Response to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

  1. pgtipsonfilms December 23, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Interesting review and nicely written. Have a read at my review,


    What do you think?

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