500 Days Of Film Reviews Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes And Finds A Thrilling Action Movie With Intelligence And Heart
Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist trying to find a cure for alzheimer's.
He creates a drug with the potential to stop the ravages of this cruel disease and believes that it can also enable the brain to repair itself.
He tests his new drug on apes and is excited by the results.
As he pushes forward with his 'cure', we realise that he is working against time as his own father (John Lithgow) is losing his battle against alzheimer’s disease.
However, Rodman's experiment goes terribly wrong, His work is deemed a failure and is shut down. He is ordered to destroy all of the apes that have been taking his drug.
Rodman cannot bring himself to euthanize a new born ape who has been exposed to his drug whilst in utero. Instead, he smuggles this ape, named Caesar (portrayed by Andy Serkis), home to live with him and his father.
Is It Any Good?
Cards on the table, I am not a big fan of apes or ape movies. I have shied away from these films because they just give me the creeps.
As a result, I was just so surprised by this movie - I really, really loved it and now cannot wait to watch the next installment in the series (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes).
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes has a tricky task. It has to tell a story that will lead to apes taking over the world without being unbelievably over the top and ludicrous.
I think that the film does this job superbly.
Everything just makes sense from a plot level onward. Nothing feels contrived as the filmmakers have obviously taken great care to focus on the characters and not just throw a series of random action sequences together.
We understand Rodman’s motivation. He is not just another power hungry, mad-scientist - he is a man desperate to save his father.
He does not intend to raise Caesar but, moved by how the infant ape engages his ailing father, the three form a strong family unit.
As Caesar grows and matures, his position in the family becomes unsustainable and, when an event occurs that splits them apart, I realised just how much I cared about Caesar. I was really afraid for him.
This is, of course, where the fun starts as Caesar rejects his second-class ‘pet’ status and plans a new future for himself and his fellow apes - one free of controls and cages.
The final action scenes are breathtaking and, because I cared about the characters so much, I was really on the edge of my seat.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is such an enjoyable film - I wish that more action movies would have this much intelligence and heart.
Oh my goodness, Andy Serkis is a genius. His performance is so convincing that you almost forget that Caesar is not a real ape.
There are only a couple of moments (when the apes are moving really quickly) that you feel the apes are not quite realistic.
However, given the fact that the film has an ape in almost every scene that is pretty amazing.
Did you enjoy Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes? Let me know your thoughts on this film in the comments section below!