Movie Review for Rise of the Planet of the Apes


by: Dennis Gosnell, assignment editor

For many who go to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the subtle technique of blending a meaningful plot with lots of computer graphics and action may be a bit overwhelming.

The movie trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes is filled with action and mayhem in an all out battle for freedom.  This action however, is only an end result of a far greater plot.

Beneath the story of rampaging Apes in downtown San Francisco, is a tale of a Chimpanzee lost in a human world that is neither chimp nor human and the subsequent result of animal testing and drug experimentation.

Caesar (Andy Serkis) born in the Gyn Sys lab comes to know the world through Will Rodman’s (James Franco) attic window and later through the Ape sanctuary in the outskirts of San Francisco.

The trouble starts when Caesar begins to question his existence as a free being.  When Will explains to Caesar how his mother Bright Eyes came to die, he begins to transition from an experiment to a free being.

Caesar’s tragic role as hero is brought to life by Andy Serkis, who portrays the fierce resolve of the impromptu Ape leader Caesar with great skill and emotion.

“It’s a great journey of this innocent who has a profound moment of self-recognition that he’s not part of the species he’s been brought up and loved by, and so he’s this outsider, this freak who has yet to really find out who he is,’ Serkis added, in an interview with Rebecca Keegan during San Diego’s Comic-Con International.”

While Serkis’ performance was animated through the use of computer graphics, he still managed to bring to human eyes the pain and crisis of animal cruelty throughout the world.

In the film’s trailer, viewers can see the apes jumping through trees, throwing steel fencing as spears, and see the ape Buck jump onto a helicopter from The Golden Gate Bridge.

The action in this movie yields high expectation, yet the action is limited and most scenes are driven by the emotional character development. Though the action scenes do offer top-notch computer graphics that give the audience a look at astounding feats of acrobatics, speed, and strength.

Andy Serkis’ cohort in bringing to life the time of genesis for the apes, is James Franco who plays as a desperate son looking for a cure for his father’s, Charles Rodman (John Lithgo), Alzheimer disease.  If there is any fault in Franco’s acting, it is his laid-back smile that plays odds with the hyper-tense sincerity of his character Will.

Franco’s strength in this movie is ability to perform the innocent and tense sincerity of Will, while Will tries to overcome the trials that block his road to finding a cure for Alzheimer disease.

While Rise of Planet of the Apes has some flaws, it offsets its over-publicized trailers with its meaningful story and call for awareness in animal cruelty and pharmaceutical experimentation.

On the surface it might just be a bunch of apes running wild through San Francisco, but for the discerning viewer there is always more to the story beneath the flashy computer graphics.

 

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  1. […] dollars in the USA box office, the remake was obscured by another movie with a cult following, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and a book to film adaptation of the Help. Fright Night serves the vampire frenzy of today’s […]

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