Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Could finding a cure for Alzheimer’s bring on an ape rebellion? According to the latest Planet of the Apes film, the answer is yes, which is unfortunate but what can you do.
The Planet of the Apes started as a book and was then made into a film, in 1968. This movie spawned four sequels and a TV series and was then remade in 2001. The remake, though being closer to the original book, was negatively received, mainly due to the confusing ending. Now in 2011, another attempt at rebooting the series has been made, but is Rise of the Planet of the Apes the start of something great or another mistake?
James Franco plays a scientist who is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s to bring his father back. His research is sent back from the animal testing phase when one of the apes goes on a rampage, which he discovers was due to the fact she thought they were going to hurt her baby. Noticing the baby chimp, Caesar, has inherited the treatment genetically from its mother, Will, Franco’s character, takes him home and raises him. He also begins secretly testing the medication on his father. After an incident, Caesar is taking from Will and put in a refuge. Here he is mistreated by humans and begins to plot a rising, with the aid of Will’s Alzheimer’s medication.
As a fan of the original series, I was worried about the computer generated apes. This is the first Planet of the Apes film that hasn’t used people in ape costumes. There were times when I thought the apes didn’t look like apes, but they always fit in with the environment and looked like they were actually there, so for that reason I’m going to call it a success. Caesar’s movements were done by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Serkis did a great job, the movements were very realistic, much more than that of apes in the previous films. It’s hard to empathise with a character that can’t speak, but the facial expressions and eyes do a wonderful job and it’s easy to feel for Caesar. In fact, they are so good that it’s sometimes depressing to watch.
Many of the themes in the film are going to put you in a downer; animal research, animal abuse, Alzheimer’s, loss, etc. Not exactly a feel good film, but it does have plenty of heart and will have you rooting against mankind. If you’re a fan of the originals you should be able to spot some links to the old films, the line ‘get you’re hand off me you damn dirty ape’ for example. Remember, this is not a prequel it’s a reboot, so don’t expect it to match up, it doesn’t. However, they already have plans to make sequels to this movie and hopefully they bring in some more aspects from the original series. An interesting idea I read, that I hope is put in a future installment, is to show the apes destroy the Statue of Liberty. If you’re looking for a movie with a good story and a lot of heart then this is the film for you, but if you want a feel good film then avoid this at all costs.
What do you think? Have you seen the film? Do you like the CGI apes? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.