Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a prequel to the original Planet of the Apes movie. The movie stars James Franco as Will Rodman, a young scientist who is testing chimpanzees with a medicine that will cure Alzheimer's disease. When an ape named Bright Eyes breaks out of her cage and goes on a rampage, the chimps are all killed and Rodman can no longer test them. He walks through the lab and finds a baby chimp, who we learn is the son of Bright Eyes. Rodman takes in the chimpanzee and his dad (John Lithgow), who has Alzheimer's, names him Caesar. Caesar grows and grows and he gets very smart and we learn that the medicine passed from his mother to him. I'm going to try to sum this up without giving away any important plot details, I'll just say that some stuff happens to Caesar so that he becomes the leader and rises up against the humans.

The acting in this film is really good, Franco and Lithgow both do really good in their roles. But without a doubt, the best character is Dodge Landon (Tom Felton). Felton takes a step away from his role as Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and plays an even better villainous character. The only character that doesn't fit in with the plot of the movie is Caroline (Frieda Pinto). She has no essential purpose to the plot, but she doesn't add much extra time to the film so it's not really a problem.

The motion-capture technology that is used for the apes is realistic and spectacular. Andy Serkis is great as Caesar. He really is able to pull off the emotional aspect of Caesar very well. You understand and feel for him even the he is sort of the villain. The film is highly entertaining most of the time, but there where times that it went too deep into some stuff that we really did not need. It was really slow in the middle, but picks back for the final act. The action scenes were ridiculously cool and a lot of fun. The scene on the Golden Gate bridge was spectacular and one of the year's best action scenes.

The film was full of references to the original Apes film. It had apes on horseback, a mission to Mars, and a reference to the apes taking over New York at the end. Of course, Rise of the Planet of the Apes ends with a cliff-hanger and is sequel is definite. But Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a good start for reviving the series.

THE FINAL GRADE:  B+                                          (7.9/10)

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