As a Harry Potter fan, I was eagerly awaiting the release of the final installment in the Harry Potter movie series. It was the only movie that I was actually “looking forward” to watching. I was sure that the CGI, acting, and excellent story-line would make Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) my favorite movie of 2011. And for awhile, it was my favorite movie of the year, until I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which was released in theaters on August 5, 2011, is hands-down my favorite movie of 2011. It is a “prequel” to the original Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston, which was released in 1968. In Planet of the Apes, we saw a world where Charlton Heston, returns to planet Earth after being lost in space. Instead of the world he left, he is greeted by a world of apes who walk, talk, and otherwise act human. The humans that are on the planet have been left speechless and helpless. A complete roll reversal from what he once knew.
How did the apes learn to talk? Why are the humans so “dumb”? What happened to create the new society? Rise of the Planet of the Apes answers all those questions and does so brilliantly.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes introduced us to scientist Will Rodman, who is working to develop a new drug to improve brain function. When his experiments go awry, Rodman hides new-born chimpanzee Caesar and continues his drug development at home. That is where the story begins and that is where you’ll get “hooked.”
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is brilliant on so many levels. The CGI effects in the creation of the apes are stellar, with the apes looking very realistic with a hint of humanism. Actors James Franco, Freida Pinto, and John Lithgow are excellent, however the true star of the film is chimpanzee Caesar. As you watch Caesar grow from baby to “adult ape” you will become emotionally vested in his future and you will find yourself “rooting” for him, even though his success signals the demise of the human world.
Quite simply, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the only movie of 2011 that left me wanting to turn around and watch the movie again, making it my favorite movie of 2011.