Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rise of The Planet of The Apes Movie Review

 The most recent film in the Planet of the Apes franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, reminds me of another attempt to revitalize an old franchise, 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Both films fail to match the level of excitement and spectacle of the originals, but still do their predecessors justice and tell the origins of the futuristic tales we know so well. Rise of the Planet of the Apes moves away from the nuclear themes of the original series and offer another rationale for the revolution of the apes. Although it offers a very different feel from previous Planet of the Apes movies, Rise is nonetheless a very entertaining movie. Solid performances from John Lithgow, James Franco, Brian Cox, Tom Felton and others certainly elevated the film, but it is Andy Serkis’s motion capture work as Cesar that truly gave the film emotion and life. Ties to the original plot line were put into place through the use of brief glimpses of the news which headlined the first manned mission to Mars, and its subsequent MIA status, as well as a quick snapshot of Heston as Taylor in the original movie. Of course, Charleston Heston’s most famous fictional line had to be regurgitated for this new iteration. Hearing “Take your stinking hands off me, you damn dirty ape” coming from the lips of Draco Malfoy seemed less than powerful; however Cesar’s response, his first word, “No,” resonated strongly and was a high point in the film. Further allusions to the original can be seen in the final battle scene on the Golden Gate Bridge where the apes can be seen using spears and riding horseback for the first time. The special effects in the film were convincingly realistic, and the emotions conveyed by the apes trumped those acted out by the humans. The end of the film left very little room for a sequel, but that has hardly stopped this franchise before.

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