Friday, September 2, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Rises to the Occasion

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist)
Written by: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
Starring: James Franco, Frieda Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, and Andy Serkis

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Caesar 
Ten years ago Time Burton re imagined the concept of the original concept of the original Planet of the Apes which was released in 1968.  The 1968 film was made most famous by its twist ending.  The original version of these films starring Charlton Heston as an astronaut who crashed landed on "on a strange plant" to find man enslaved by apes was done effectively.  Then in 2001 Burton's remake looked appealing but was left an awful taste in my mouth.

Now in 2011 Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver constructed an origin story. Will (James Franco) works for a lab and creates an experimental drug that will help cure Alzheimer's, a disease Will's father (John Lithgow) suffer from.  The original test goes badly and Will is left with Caesar (Serkis).  Caesar is far advanced, but soon the distinction between man and animal become apparent and how their behaviors divided them.

The films screenplay is the highlight of this film.  The story that writers Jaffa and Silver constructed is so fascinating.  The film delves into testing on animals for the sake of humans, and can a drug that changes animals have an effect on humans.  This film took away aspects of previous films that were campy and silly and made a realistic representation of science gone haywire.

Unlike the other films this film used CGI to create the actions of the apes.  Relatively unknown director Rupert Wyatt used actors to create the emotional context of the apes like Peter Jackson did with his version of King Kong (2005).  Using actors like Andy Serkis to create an visual on screen of actual animals with human emotions was brilliant and took this film to a whole new level.  The film suggests the differences between humans and animals, but also insinuates their similarities, and in a world filled with evolution when does animal end and man begin, or does that ever happen?


EricT said...

It was seriously good! Not just a bunch of hype. I'm a huge Andy Serkis fan!

Organic Author said...

I actually thought it was awful. Totally unbelievable and seriously bad acting on some parts. James Franco is amazing, but I thought this movie was a flop.