Rise of the Planet of the Apes

10 09 2011

In a time filled with crappy sequels, prequels, reboots, you name it, it’s great to see one that has actually been made with care.

Let me just start off by saying that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a very good movie. It’s got great action, great acting, and a great story. It’s a prequel/reboot which are coming out mostly every week now.

Very few of them are good. I can only recall the recent “Fright Night,” “X-Men: First Class,” and 2010’s “The Wolfman.” So naturally I’m very glad to see a good one.

It’s not really an action movie as the trailer or premise would suggest. It’s more of a historic future movie, if you get my meaning. It’s built like a historical epic, set in the near future. A futurical epic?

The ape protagonist’s name is Caesar. He is the son of a chimpanzee who was tested with ALZ-112, a supposed cure of Alzheimer’s, that apparently boosts brain activity. The effects were carried on to Caesar, who is a chimp with the intelligence of an average human being. He unites the apes and so begins the rise of the planet of the apes.

The human protagonist is Will Rodman, played by James Franco. He’s the one to thank for ALZ-112, but all the chimps affected by it had to be put to sleep after a nasty incident with one of them getting aggressive. That’s the one who had a baby, and turns out she was only trying to protect her.

So out of good will and just because he had to, Rodman adopts the ape, and quickly realizes that he’s supersmart. He decides to use the cure on his father (played effectively by John Lithgow) who has Alzheimer’s disease. It works, for a while…

Anyway, Caesar grows up, he becomes part of the family, and after another nasty incident involving a Mustang and a finger being bit off, Caesar is captured by evil dudes who put him into a sort of prison for primates.

Rodman swears to bring him back home soon, and Caesar relies on that for a while, then he gets sick of being held in captivity and being bullied by Malfoy (that’s Tom Felton playing a caretaker), and with his high intelligence, unites all the apes, and breaks out of the prison.

What follows is an epic battle of San Francisco. Stuff gets blown up, people get hurt, apes climb on buildings, cars, bridges, etc.

It’s built like a classic movie. The first act is the introduction. The second act ties together the introduction and the final act, which is just pure destruction. There is only one long action sequence in the movie, the whole third act.

The epic battle between apes and policemen on the Golden Gate bridge consists of the apes using a bus as a shield, Caesar riding on a horse, and a gorilla taking out a helicopter. A helicopter! It’s like guerilla warfare. See what I did there?

Through motion capture technology by Weta Digital, Caesar is played by Andy Serkis. Known previously for playing Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings,” and the title character in 2005’s “King Kong.” He is a really good actor, and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is him at his best. I would love to see him get a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 84th Oscars.

What makes it even better is the fact that it’s a reboot and a sequel. It seems to be very hard to make a good reboot in Hollywood these days. Director Rupert Wyatt does a great job, and it’s his second feature! That guy’s got a great career ahead of him.

And the movie’s got AWE! When was the last time I felt awe in a cinema? This year’s “The Tree of Life,” but if you exclude that, a very, very long time ago! If you want a prime example of how awe-inspiring “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” just see the teaser clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-gf4iymmY8). That was EPIC, AWE-INSPIRING, EPIC, HOLY SH*T! And it’s only 5 F*CKING SECONDS LONG!

Anyway, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a really good sci-fi movie, a really good futurical, or something, epic, and a really good action movie. I’d even go out and say that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is probably the most fun I’ve had in a movie theatre this year, excluding maybe “Super 8.”

So there you go. It’s got great acting, great visuals, great performances, great direction, some actual awe, and it’s got a gorilla taking out a helicopter! A frickin’ helicopter!

Rating: ★★★★

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8D2NIGEJW8




One response

14 08 2017
smell wine

smell wine

Rise of the Planet of the Apes | At the Movies with Karl Kevad

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