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

Rise of the Planet of the ApesAn origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Writers: Pierre Boulle (suggested by novel “La planete des singes”), Rick Jaffa
Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis and Freida Pinto

I will start off by saying that this has movie of the year potential. I was not really sure what to expect out of it at all. Knowing that it was an origin story, you would expect it to be slow, but at no point did I ever think that I would be cheering for the apes and the plight of Caesar. The main character of the film is Caesar, who we see from birth all the way up to his role and leader of the apes. As any other oppressed people, you listen to their story and feel their pain. The culmination of their ordeal can pretty much be expected based on what Caesar is forced to deal with in his short life.

The fantastical world created by the crew is downright astounding and the effects are just amazing. This is one of those films that you watch in amazement at how seemless everything looks. But, the film is much more than simply effects and atmosphere. The story behind the film gets you from the opening frames all the way through the end of the film.

You have layered storylines and wonderful subplots with James Franco and his father (played brilliantly by John Lithgow) and Franco and Caesar himself. The film does not waste too much time at all with the love interest in the film. It is just something that is there and that played out perfectly for me. The bulk of the film is centered around why Caesar leads the apes and how he does it. The time in the film is just spent well.

The culmination of the film is astounding with action and drama before the final (for at least this film) meeting between Franco and Caesar. I am hoping to see much more from this story as their are so many more ways that they could bring this into its own franchise and run with it.