48: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – August 5, 2011
Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, Tom Felton
Written by: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

The plot: “During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom.” – IMDB

My thoughts: Admittedly, when I first saw the trailer for this, I laughed. I was in utter disbelief as to how they were going to make a prequel to an incredibly famous film and do it well.

But I’m eating my words (or rather my laughter) because I’ll be damned, the film was good! The plot was strong, the acting was good, and the visuals were excellent.

A lot of controversy (I guess that’s what you could call it) often surrounds Andy Serkis’s work as he has a tendency to portray CGI characters (Gollum/Smeagol in Lord of the Rings and King Kong), but he gave what I think was the best performance as Caesar, the leader of the highly intelligent apes. He does an incredible job of portraying a docile, child-like Caesar to a rebelling, slightly-terrifying ape-man-thing.

More than anything, I really loved the plot. This seems like just about the right time for someone to seriously mess up and cause our own destruction, leaving the planet free for monkeys and apes and chimps to take over. I like that it was also a bit of a commentary about animal testing (whether they intended it to be or not, I”m not sure) and how maybe there are some things better left to nature as opposed to our fiddling just because we can or want to.

I don’t have a lot to say about it aside from the fact that I was really pleasantly surprised. I’m not giving it a perfect score because I don’t think it’s worthy of being watching a bunch of times or talking about at parties, but I found it be a film that exceeded my expectations and kept me hooked for two hours.

Stars: 4/5

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One thought on “48: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

  1. I don’t expect much from this movie but now that I have read your review, perhaps I will watch it with less distress in my mind. The first one was only so so but the classic ones as I watch them now were not that great either. Why Charlton Heston was cast is beyond me, but then he was Moses too.

    I will add this to my Netflix queue.

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