“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Review

That’s right! Those damn dirty apes are back in this remake, prequel, reboot, sequel, or whatever you want to call it. Now I’m normally not big on the summer blockbusters or remakes, but when I saw the trailer for this, I got excited. It looked good, especially the clip they showed of an ape standing over the couple while they slept. That just looked creepy. Plus I’m a fan of the original “Planet of the Apes”.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” centers on the time when the apes first start to form their revolution. James Franco plays a scientist looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s. They start testing the drug on apes. You know where this is going? Franco takes a baby ape, Caesar, home to further conduct his tests. Of course a close bond is formed. But as we all know, that’s when the ape dookey hits the fan. Apparently the scientists of this movie didn’t see “Deep Blue Sea”, cause when you mix “trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s” and “an animal that can F you up” it always leads to disaster.

I could get into acting or directing (which are fine), but the real star was the special effects. I’m a stickler when it comes to CGI. My feeling is if you can’t make the computer generated image look real, then keep it practical. However it seems that most filmmakers don’t feel this way, which is why over eighty-five percent of movies with CGI look bad. But I have relaxed over the past couple of years, since I realized horrible CGI has become a permanent fixture in Hollywood and I should just try and enjoy the movie as is. “Rise”, as it turns out, has really good CGI. There were a couple of spots that looked weak, like the baby Caesar, but overall the effects really looked good. Another high point was Andy Serkis as adult Caesar. Andy, you will remember, portrayed Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Using the same technology they were able to transform Andy into Caesar. His acting really comes through and you really feel sympathetic for him when he starts feeling betrayed.

The movie also stars John Lithgow who plays, very well and believably, Franco’s father. Lithgow is the one with Alzheimer’s and is the driving force behind Franco’s obsession to cure the dieses. And Brian Cox and David Oyelowo both turn in solid performances.

My big complaint, and this is really just me, was that it wasn’t dark enough. Hey, I get it. It’s a PG-13 film that’s aimed at kids and a mainstream audience. So I knew going in it wasn’t going to be all gloomy, grim, and violent. I guess I wanted a horror/apocalyptic version, but what can you do? I also didn’t care for Freida Pinto’s acting in this film. I’m not going to elaborate, I just didn’t like it.

Overall the movie did what it was supposed to do and that was entertain. I recommend it. I enjoyed it and will watch the next one when it comes out. And you know there will be another one. I’m sure most will enjoy this film, although I’m sure there are some haters out there. And don’t forget to stick around after the credits start rolling for an extra little scene. It’s good.

Well, until next time.

-Daniel Richardson

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