Saturday, November 5, 2011

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

The movie is a reboot of the popular series Planet of the Apes. Directed by Rupert Wyatt, the movie attempts to explain the circumstances leading to the takeover of our planet by our simian relatives.

Will Rodman (James Franco) has working on developing a cure of Alzheimer's disease, that afflicts his father, Charles Rodman (John Lithgow). He tests his cure on chimpanzees, one of whom turns out to be pregnant (without the knowledge of the scientists and this is one of the logical loopholes in the movie). Will ends up adopting the new born baby chimp, who is named “Ceasar” by Charles.

Ceaser is quite the naughty one and soon receives a cut on his leg after a brief encounter with the neighbours. This leads to Will taking Ceasar to  a primatologist, Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto) and this leads to the mandatory romance part of the movie.

James Franco and Freida Pinto in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
James Franco and Freida Pinto in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

Ceasar soon starts showing signs of extraordinary intelligence, thanks to being exposed to the drug while he was still in his mother's womb.

Things take a turn for the worse, when Ceaser intervenes in a verbal altercation between Charles and his neighbor, Hunsiker (David Hewlett) and ends up biting off one of Hunsiker's fingers.

Ceasar is sent to a Primate Shelter run by John Landon (Brian Cox) and his sadistic son Dodge (Tom Felton). Ceasar studies his fellow inmates and soon assumes leadership by dethroning the alpha male.

Soon, it is a showdown between humans and the liberated chimps, led by Ceaser, atop the Golden Gate Bridge. Ceaser and his cohorts win the battle.

Meanwhile, Hunsiker gets infected with a newer version of the drug developed by Will and the infection quickly spreads all over the world. The stage is set for a sequel!

Andy Serkis gives an amazing performance as Ceasar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Andy Serkis gives an amazing performance as Ceasar

Andy Serkis gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Ceasar. His work marks a continuation of his winning streak since playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the titular character in King Kong. He is ably supported by the WETA team that does a flawless job bringing Ceaser to life.

Coming to the human cast, Franco and Lithgow are competent in their roles. Lithgow, in particular, is appealing.

Freida looks ravishing and brings grace and dignity to her role.

Click on the link below to buy your copy:

I did have a hard time understanding how the initial troop of the apes that numbered around 50-60, suddenly swelled to around 200 in the climactic fight. This was something that I could not accept, even though it is understandable that the initial numbers were not enough to support an uprising. Still I wish the script/director had accounted for this.

Highly recommended to fans of Planet of the Apes series and/or people who love the Great Apes.

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Image Sources: G4TVUSA Today

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