RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES  review
September 3, 2011 · Print This Article
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES  is a great movie, and the best theater experience since last year’s INCEPTION. APES is a powerful story from opening frame, to closing. It is a very cerebral movie and a positive use of CGI to visually tell a story that would otherwise not be possible. The movie reinforces two of my strongest beliefs: animals should not be experimented on; animals should not be in cages.
APES was much better than the trailers made it out to look. If not for the buzz surrounding the movie after its release, I might have missed out on experiencing it with an audience on the big screen. Thankfully, I did not.
I am a big fan of origin stories, and thus the first film of movie franchises are the ones I usually like best. Even though, maybe only the first third or first half shows the origin of the main character (hero). The entire running time of APES shows Caesar’s origin story. I enjoyed every single second of it.
The fact that Caesar could not speak was a huge benefit to the character. The director had to focus on showing his thoughts and emotions visually. CGI used in combination with Andy Serkis’ motion capture action yielded a fully formed character in Caesar, displaying more emotional range, more command of the screen, than 90% of human characters in all the rest of the movies made this year. I would have no problem at all seeing Caesar/Serkis nominated for a best actor Oscar.
Watching Caesar think and work through his emotions made for riveting, intellectual movie watching. Caesar first only yearns to be back with the only family he knows, but then is taken over by the more powerful drive for Freedom. I could not root for a character more than I did for Caesar.
APES is refreshingly intelligent, exciting, dramatic science fiction. How it setup the mechanics for the eventual reality seen in the original PLANET OF THE APES is extremely clever and makes me anxious to see what comes next in this franchise.