Monday, August 15, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: The Re-Launch of an age ol' classic

I mentioned before to the fair number of us "film fans" who follow this and other movie blogs, that there was one specific film I was looking forward to see this summer of 2011. 

As I predicted, I was not disappointed.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a re-launch of sorts to the original PoA series of the 1960s-70s. This particular film, however, addresses the issue of how the apes became intelligent and how humanity lost it top status, which was never fully explained in the original series…only indicating a nuclear war which wiped out humanity, but for some unknown reason not the primates. (Considering the time it came out, I guess the nuclear approach was more accepted at the time). 

This new rendition however looks at the “rise” in a more up to date POV of genetic and biological method. I won’t go into the details of the how and why of this process, but I can say in a way, it is a more realistic (yet somewhat farfetched) approach to how the apes become smart. I will say this, be sure not only to pay attention not only to the “awareness” of the facial expressions made by the apes, (and in some cases the humans) but the eyes (and eye colour) as well, it’s key to the story plot.

Speaking of expressions, the acting done by the main ape Caesar, (played by (Andy Serkis, who's done King Kong, and Gollun in both previous Peter Jackson films ), is very impressive. And granted some of the CGI has been brought into question whether all the facial expressions are actually his or not, I found just how he portrayed Caesar in general was well done. He (Andy) not only was able to capture Caesar's struggle to adapt to human behaviour perfectly, but also how adapt to other apes that he had not social contact with before, until put in a position where it was adapt or die. With that and his high intelligence, Caesar not only surpasses this endeavour, he unites then and does much more. 

The action sequences are done quite well. Some points, some have been criticized for being a tad too heavy in CGI, but never seemed that way to me. Plus the plot never gets boring or too predictable in any area, which is good, considering the fan base of this series is well over 3 decades old. The film does raise certain ethical areas currently our society face today that many either have a strong opinion on in one form or another, or are on the fence on. I can’t really say on which areas without really spoiling the film too much, but be sure to absorb everything and see it not only from your own point of view, but the view point of the characters involved. 

That’s about all I can say about the film for now, other than do go see it. I found it to be one of the most interesting films for this summer so far. Not quite up there like District 9, but fairly close….


  1. All of a sudden, it appears movie makers are getting "the prequel" right.

    From X-Men: First Class to this RotPotA, we've come a long way from the dog's breakfast George Lucas made of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

    I guess his example of how NOT to do it has its value and that, in a strange way, we ought perhaps to thank him...sorta.

  2. I agree about the prequels..It seems that some directors/producers are starting to take a better approach how they create these films, espcially with graphic novel comic and novel based films with a large fanbase. I guess they are learning from not just only from the mistakes of other films that failed, but the ones that Here's to hoping for more of these!

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  4. Now that I've seen this movie, I find it a curious amalgam of two primary plots - Moses and Frankenstein.

    Moses was in danger of being killed as a kid. To save his life, he ends up being taken in by the house in charge of killing all his kind. He grows up in the house, then one day kills one of "those" like the members of his house. He leaves, ends up in the company of "his people," choses to stick with them, and leads them across water to a wilderness where they can be themselves.

    Cesare did all that in this movie.

    Frankenstein - here's a guy who loves his parent and can't accept her death, so he commits himself to science to find an answer to death. What he creates becomes self-aware, realizes he's not like everyone else, and eventually runs amock.

    Will Rodman went through all the same things in this movie.

    What's the value of this reflection? I cant think of much, really, except perhaps to recognize that left-overs from a meal or two ago can be whipped up together and nuked in the microwave for a decent meal today, I suppose.

  5. LOL very interesting way of looking at this film...I too was thinking of Moses, but never thought of using Frankentstein as well. Clever!


What do you think?!