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Rise of the Planet of the Apes is basically the first film as part of the Planet of the Ape series remake. It’s not a direct remake as the plots are not exactly the same; however, there are still some similarities (or so I’ve heard, I’ve never actually seen the previous series). I guess what’s so fascinating about ape movies is the fact that it could all come true. That’s what I think anyway. I mean, we all know that apes are incredibly intelligent already, who’s to say that they’re not plotting a revolution? The other frightening thing is that it shows us the possible consequences of animal testing. Firstly, it shows us how cruel it is, secondly, it shows us what could happen if it all goes wrong. We could be creating hundreds and hundreds of super-animals and one day it could all come back to smack us in the face.
Essentially this film is about a man who has developed ALZ 12, otherwise known as, the cure for Alzheimer’s. This is obviously an incredibly exciting time as this drug could save millions of lives across the globe, but just as Will (James Franco) is pitching this drug to sponsors, the tested ape breaks out and causes havoc, the story continues from there.
I’ve been very excited about this movie ever since I saw the trailer. Probably because in this post-Potter depression I’ve been looking for anything to fill the hole – Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) stars in this, he plays a bad guy… as usual. However, I thought that the plot looked really interesting too. Ok, I just checked this movie out on wikipedia, and it turns out the main ape, Caesar (quite appropriate given his actions), is actually played by a person, and is not made from CGI. Mind. Blown.
Caesar is played by Andy Serkis who often plays characters who aren’t quite human, for example, he did an absolutely incredible performance in Lord of the Rings as the creature Gollum/Smeagol. This movie has just shot up even further in my opinion. I cannot believe that the ape was played by a real person, he acts exactly like an ape, just with heightened intelligence. His movements, his gestures, his everything makes you believe that he actually is an ape (as shown by the fact that I wasn’t even aware he was being portrayed by a person until now).
The acting in this movie is incredible, and not just from Andy Serkis, but all the other characters as well. There’s quite a good bunch of actors here including James Franco, Freida Pinto, Tom Felton, John Lithgow, David Hewlett and Tyler Labine. They are all phenomenal actors and it really shows in this movie, the only slight thing that bothered me were the accents of Tom Felton and Freida Pinto, there was just something a little off about them, but it wasn’t bothering enough to ruin the film.
I’d say that this movie was split into two halves, the interesting half, and the exciting half. The first hour is interesting, but not particularly exciting as it’s all about the lab work and basically setting the scene for what happens later on. The second half is when all the drama happens and consequences of people’s actions from the first half take full effect. There was a slight sub plot unfolding to do with the health of humans which I think could’ve been explored more; however, there was a short scene after the end credits (so make sure you wait until the movie has actually finished before leaving the cinema) with a little more information about this, possibly hinting that the next movie will focus more on this.
For me, personally, the ending was quite surprising. I was sure that this movie would end in a certain way and it didn’t and I found this a little puzzling but I was quite happy about it. Though, to be perfectly honest, if the situation from this movie occured in real life, I’m 99% sure that this is not the way things would be allowed to end. Nonetheless this movie keeps you captivated right until the very end. The plot is excellent, the acting is superb and the movie far exceeded my expectations.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone, particularly those who have seen the previous Planet of the Apes series. For those of you who haven’t, don’t worry, you don’t need any knowledge of the previous stories to understand this remake.