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
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?