Film Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Caesar, leader of the apes.
I didn’t have high expectations for the film going into it, as I’d never seen a previous ‘Apes’ film before, mainly due to them being WAY before my time, and coming out in the late 60’s/early 70’s. However, the trailer for this new prequel, swayed me enough to go and see it. Unfortunately the trailer shows an awul lot of the plot, so if possible I’d advise not to see it, as it really does feature some important moments from the film.

James Franco is the main human character, playing a doctor at the Genysis research facility. He and his team are looking to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, something that spurs Franco’s character along, as his own father suffers from the disease. A cure is developed and is tested on chimps, who show an icreased level in intelligence. The offspring of one such chimp, is taken home to live with Franco, and becomes an integral part of his family, as he grows. This chimp grows up to become Caesar, the leader of the apes.

The visual effects in this are mind-blowing, apes, chimps, oranguatans, all look real but are infact created by the same CGI company behind ‘Avatar’. The quality really tells, as it’s rather difficult to tell whether the apes are real or not. Also, the storytelling, bar the last half-hour for me, was excellent. It allowed the viewer to emphasise with the chimps and completely understand why they’d want to fight back against the humans, one almost wills them to win, which is bizzare really! The work of Andy Serkis, a veteran of motion-capture performances, is very good, he plays Caesar full of emotion, as the technology allows him to do-this really adds a lot to the film, something which isn’t usually seen in today’s summer blockbusters.

The action itself is slick and only lets up in the middle of the film, for a section of 15 minutes or so. However, my only real problem with the film is the lack of direction in the story for the last half an hour or so, soemthing which is slightly evident whilst watching. Also, I wasn’t toopleased at how much action had already been seen in the trailer, although there was still one moment that gave me goosebumps! I did enjoy the film thoroughly and the ending leaves the door open for many more sequels, as the running sub-plot backs up.

I’d give ‘Apes’ 4/5.

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