Posted by Fred Godlash

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review

Caesar looks madRise of the Planet of the Apes is the film that should have been made before Tim Burton’s remake! It truly captures the unique essence that the original film series portrayed; specifically Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Here is what makes this film so special.

Dodge Landers
“Rise” is written in genuine homage to the original. Throughout the movie the writers are winking their eye at the audience using references like Bright Eyes, Get your hands off me you damn dirty ape, spraying the antagonist with a high pressure water hose, and a hilarious shot of Caesar holding a model of the Statue of Liberty!

James Franco Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This version takes itself very seriously (like the original) and gives the best scientific plausible reason for why the apes could win. They explain the different classes of apes, how they learn to ride horses, apes hating humans, and, if not nuclear disaster, how the apes take over the planet.

The technology has finally arrived that make the apes look real and dangerous. One of the limitations of the original was that the apes could not act like apes but humans in ape makeup. In Rise, the apes are ferocious, fast, and swing from trees. A human is no match for an ape mano a mano in this film.

But what made all the original stories so good were the inventive narratives and the underlying message of how the human race was doomed by self-ruin. That technology gave the humans a faster way of killing themselves and that the savage beast is in fact the civilized. All of those themes are re-visited in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Caesar Plots

The premise
The film starts in a lab. Will Rodman (James Franco) is experimenting on a drug that could one day cure Alzheimer's disease. A major corporation is backing the medicine but an unfortunate accident causes the project to be cancelled. One of the fortunate benefits from the experiment is the birth of a baby gorilla called Caesar who has incredible intelligence as a side effect from the experimental drugs used on his mother. At first Franco's character is reluctant to take care of the ape but after years of raising Caesar he becomes family. Meanwhile Charles Rodman (John Lithgow) is fully suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Fast-forward to an unfortunate accident that inevitably gets Caesar locked up in an animal services institution or ape prison.

Caesar must adapt to his new surroundings and soon, by using his superior intelligence, he becomes the alpha male in the compound. Caesar finds a way to give the other apes the drug that made him more intelligent. The film really begins to take off at this point and the apes fully revolt against their keepers.  Also a (*****spoiler alert*****) virus is accidentally set free that has no effect on apes- what a nice twist! And since I am giving away spoiler information- Caesar speaks!!! You can’t have a Planet of the Apes movie without a talking chimp!

Caesar and Cornelia

Andy Serkis really pulls off a great performance as Caesar. If I didn’t see the footage with Andy before the CGI, I never would have known how much of a contribution he made to this film. (For the story on the technology of Rise -read the behind the scenes section) Andy portrays a sympathetic antagonist very reminiscent to Roddy McDowall in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. In both films, due to persecution and unfair prosecution he turns against the humans. But in both films you feel sympathy for the ape rebelling against human kind. Why can't the apes and humans coexist and fight mutants...... sorry wrong film.

See Rise of the Planet of the Apes in theaters now.