Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes [2011]

In A Nutshell:
A prequel to the cult classic Planet Of The Apes [1968], this movie is set in modern day San Francisco. Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist that works on developing a tissue regenerating drug that he hopes will cure Alzeimer's. Experiments of drug are being done on chimpanzees. An incident at the lab forces Rodman to take home and raise a baby chimp whom he eventually names Caesar (motion-captured by Andy Serkis). Over the years, Caesar develops incredible cognitive intelligence but is eventually taken from Rodman and placed in a prison-style sanctuary. Here he experiences human cruelty and decides to plot his escape.
Thumbs Up:
+ combination of a impeccable CGI from WETA Digital and mesmerising motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis as Caesar provides the backbone of the movie. Caesar's character has plenty of depth and emotional resonance
+ well-executed script & good pacing of the movie
+ captivating scenes where the apes try to communicate with each other at the sanctuary
+ heart-pounding action sequences both at the ape sanctuary and also at the Golden Gate Bridge
Thumbs Down:
- too many cliché "bad-guy" characters
Shamelessly Tweeted:
> "The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is so awesome it probably inspired the London Riots ;p. The apes showed more compassion than those rioters who burned houses and robbed people though"
 > "Funny how an ape named Caesar is a better leader and more inspiring than most Malaysian politicians
The Verdict Is In:
After what I initially thought to be a generally lukewarm 2011, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes provides one exhilarating ride. Top notch CGI and mesmerising performance by Andy Serkis provides for wonderful emotional connection with the audience. By the end, you'll be rooting for the apes rather than the humans.
9 out of 10

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