RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
The Escapist director Rupert Wyatt takes the helm for this Planet of the Apes prequel centering on genetically engineered chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis), who was created in a San Francisco lab by an ambitious scientist (James Franco), and who uses his powerful intellect to lead an ape uprising against all of humankind. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Cast: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, Brian Cox, David Oyelowo, Tom Felton
Release Date: Aug 05, 2011
Rated: Violence and intense/frightening sequences
Runtime: 1 hr. 50 min.
The original Planet of the Apes is such an iconic film that it leaves a legacy that still rings through this most recent reboot. Winks and nods to the original pop up here and there throughout Rise of the Planet of the Apes, some subtle and others more obvious and forced. It’s a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things, especially when so much care and effort was put into making this more than just another money grabbing reboot. Rise has something missing from most reboots; it’s got plenty of heart and a strong sense of itself. The story feels authentic with a set up and follow through that flows nicely. Director Rupert Wyatt shoots his film with a steady hand, moving his film at a steady pace rarely lingers in any section too long. James Franco, Freida Pinto and John Lithgow all have paint by the number roles. Franco offers some heart to his character but like the rest he’s simply a tool for the plot. David Oyelowo and Tom Felton are given cheesier clichéd roles which border on goofy, Felton in particular seems like he was transported from an 80’s flick sans a Cobra Kai patch. The real star of the show though is Andy Serkis, whose become the motion capture “man behind the mask”, who’s performance capture work is even more impressive than his work in the Lord of the Rings. His role is mostly visual but he’s able to emote such a massive range of emotions that’s you can relate with Caesar’s situation throughout. The CGI work is excellent, delivering photo realistic creations that rarely scream CGI. There are a few scenes that will either work for you or not, depending on how invested you are by that point in the story. While Rise will never leave the lasting legacy of the original film it’s still an impressive effort all around.