Genre: Sci-Fi , Drama, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 120 Minutes
With great pure emotion driven into CGI apes this is a very entertaining piece of Sci-Fi cinema. Most of our characters are apes and show the basics of human characteristics, the want for freedom, the want for friendship, the basic things in. Let alone the basic wants of most creatures on earth. The whole “Apes” universe can be very much enjoyed if you can see past the absurdity of it because of its thought-provoking mystery. Director Rupert Wyatt brought great tension to the screen and led the film well. If you are looking for a good action drama, then this film offers a lot.
A single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other -- and to the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The Oscar-winning visual effects team that brought to life the worlds of “Avatar” and “Lord of the Rings” is breaking new ground, creating a CGI ape that delivers a dramatic performance of unprecedented emotion and intelligence, and epic battles on which rest the upended destinies of man and primate. Our main character starts with Will rodman, a scientist who takes in an intelligent whose mother was just killed after going wild to protect her baby home. From here onwards, we follow the rise of something like no other, the rise of the planet of the apes.
As far as summer high-budget films go, “apes” does an excellent job giving the audience a thrill. At times, the film felt a little absurd but they kept it at a sensible level most of the time. Like when Caesar first speaks, it is fainter than pure dialogue. We hear Caesar shouting “NO!” at one of the workers at the place Caesar is in captivation. At the end of the film, he says dialogue that is more pure and to my annoyance, the audience laughed. I hate when people laugh at drama on screen, and especially when it is good drama. Nevertheless, those small problems aside, they controlled this film with finesse.
The acting from the cast members (excluding the CGI motion capture apes) was excellent. Although the film as it gets to its mid-point begins to follow the apes more than the human characters, I think James Franco and the others were solid. Supporting Franco were John Lithgow, Freida Pinto and Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy, Tom Felton. It is good to see Felton appearing in other films, I hope to see him, and the rest of the Potter crew in future films. Even if his role was of a nasty character (like Draco), it was a reasonably good role. Let us just hope he does not become too typecast.
Playing the role of Caesar is motion-capture legend, Andy Serkis, the man who previously brought “Lord of the Ring’s” Gollum and “King Kong” to life. The human quality that CGI and brought to all of the ape characters was astonishing while at the same time, not being too silly. Serkis did excellent movement making a realistic feel to the apes and although I detest CGI at the best of times, they nailed it here. Here, it was necessary, because it certainly would not be easy to control 10-100 apes and it would not bring the kind of things the CGI brought to the screen. The destruction, the emotion and of course, the crazy jumping around was all executed finely.
Caesar had just as much human characteristic as the rest of the cast did and that is something I would assume is difficult to pull off. I think the problem some people have with the film is how distant the human characters become to the story. It was very close to being steered right off but the film’s ending with Caesar and his upbringing father figure, Will, summed things up. After all, the film should be more on the animals, it’s in the title. I loved how they put in several little things in homage of the original, which is satisfying for the movie nerds like me to watch. First, we had the naming of Caesar’s mother being Bright eyes, the nickname that one of the scientists call the man they capture in the original film. Then we had the famous quote “Get your filthy paws off me you damn dirty ape!” that was said by the young Tom Felton.
Its premise is similar to the fourth film in the original series, “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” (1972), but it is not a direct remake in that it does not fit into that series' continuity. It is obvious that the ape series will not be ending anytime soon after the suggestive ending (which appears 10 seconds after the first few credits appear). I will not spoil much from that though, but be sure to stay. I think this is an excellent start up for the series and certainly has me wanting more. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is adventurous, smart, fun and filled with great emotion and action. This Sci-Fi piece of modern cinema is definitely worth your time.
My Rating: 8.5/10