of the Planet of the Apes
First, James Franco destroyed the Oscars. Now, he is destroying the
planet. Way to go, genius.
Franco stars as Will Rodman - a scientist in San Francisco desperately
trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's, since his father (John Lithgow)
is suffering from the disease. However, the experiments conducted on
chimpanzees go horribly wrong, and the company orders them all put
Not willing to give up on finding a cure, and unable to let the company
destroy a baby chimpanzee he names Caesar, Will brings the baby home,
starts to raise him, and discovers the drug he created has made little
Caesar smarter than any animal or human of his age.
When Caesar starts to act out and gets put in a facility with other
apes, we find out just how much smarter he is than everything and
Watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes brought me back to that
amazing moment in Jurrasic Park when the dinosaurs make their
first appearance and I (like just about everyone else in the world) was
absolutely blown away by how real they looked. The apes in this movie
instill that same amazement and awe.
While Rise of the Planet of the Apes is not a movie full of
great dialogue or acting, director Rupert Wyatt and the creative team
(especially the CGI artists and actors creating the movements for the
characters) show fantastic storytelling skills. Wyatt and the writers
Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver make Rise of the Planet of the Apes
into a mesmerizing prison drama as we see the apes abused, angered,
trapped and driven to a desire for freedom from the oppressors (and
maybe a little bit of revenge as well). Much of it is done without
dialogue, which leaves the audience to watch the apes interacting with
sign language (like Koko!)
and rudimentary gestures that are so clear a 2-year old could
understand the meaning.
While Franco and Lithgow are joined by Freida Pinto in the cast of
human characters, the stellar acting comes from the team of humans who
create the movements of the various apes (and, to be honest, they get
the best material). Andy Serkis, best known as Gollum in Lord of
the Rings, makes Caesar into a child full of wonder and energy.
Then, as the world becomes a colder, meaner place for him, turns the
chimp into a compelling, charismatic leader who is angry at the abuse
Fans of the original Planet of the Apes will be cheering the
obvious and subtle allusions to the original, while the rest of the
audience is blown away by some of the best special effects of the last
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is rated PG-13
for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language.