Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Tom Felton, Brian Cox, David Oyelowo, Tyler Labine, David Hewlett, Andy Serkis, Jay Kaputo and more.

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt Based on the Novel: Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle Written by: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver  Original Music by: Patrick Doyle

Premise: A possible cure for Alzheimer’s works better than intended by bringing multiplied intelligence and evolution to the progeny of a test chimpanzee.

Review:  Been waiting to see how this one would go down. The previews were misleading, as the movie is a lot better than they make it seem. Now mind you, in the original Escape of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar was born of Cornelius and Zira after they’d traveled to the past in the space craft used by Colonel George Taylor. In this version, man is the one responsible for the changes in the Apes rather than a time loop.

The plot is more complex than indicated in the previews and there’s several offshoots as well. You get to see Ceasar from a new born to a mature ape and you feel for him for the harsh lessons he learns and the choices he makes.

The CGI for all the apes was phenomenal. It is even more so when you realize actors and actresses are in there as well, guiding the expressions and feelings translated into the ape visages. And great use of those expressions.

That lovely famous line from Charlton Heston “Get your hands off me, you dirty stinking ape” (Or something close. I always fail at quote games!) is used in a reverse manner in this film, which was just too delicious. Lots of tiny bits of homage seeded here and there and especially towards the end.

Make note when they mention the manned Mars expedition. Neatly tying it back to the original Planet of the Apes films.

Many surprises for me in the cast. John Lithgow does some awesome non-comedic work in the film. And I was shocked and so pleased to see David Hewlett (Rodney!) as the bad tempered neighbor. Last but not least was the presence of Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) doing what he does best.

Only towards the very end when things get in full swing are mistakes made. I think some items were lost to the editing room floor. There’s a bit of a romance suggested for Caesar, but when he finds her again, we don’t get to see it. They also show many canisters of the virus being made, and you assume the apes took more, but you never see that. The apes also multiply a little out of hand. And as my hubby pointed out, ape behavior and the lack of possible canisters (as cut or not shot) made the second group of acquired apes not necessarily feasible to join the fight.

Another bit, obviously done purely for the drama of it, yet doesn’t work on the believability scale was all the jumping through outside corporate building glass. That stuff is normally two sheets and very hard to break. But it did look cool!

The added twist and what really messes up things shows at the end and is partially incorporated into the beginning of the credits. So just when you think it’s done, it’s not. (Major discussions broke out in the car about loopholes or was the contagion in the breath or blood, so be prepared. lol)

Overall though, it was a great film. Not for young kids as it does cover some major adult themes about animal experimentation and abuse.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)