Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Robert Wyatt, 2011) Review

We appear to me that we are currently in a film drought. Considering that the last new film  I reviewed was The World's End, I would say that the next big films are at the end of this year with the likes of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and Gravity but I figure that its a good time to good back on some recent success in the movie industry which, today, seems to be Rise of the Planet of the reason...just happened to feel like reviewing it.

Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who has developed a new, experimental drug that can give animals human-like intelligence and emotion. Having raised a ape child after the death of its mother, Will uses the drug on the ape, named Ceaser (Andy Serkis), which increases his intelligence. After trying to protect Will's father (John Lithgow), Ceaser finds himself taken away and kept in an Ape Sanctuary. Ceaser gains the respect of his fellow inmates and starts a revolution to fight back against the human oppression.

Andy Serkis is excellent! He holds the film but, to be honest, that is necessary because of how excellent the film is all around. The writing is great and the narrative does a really good job of starting the timeless franchise with a good origin story. Andy Serkis isn't the only great actor in this. The other great actor is Tom Felton (yes, Malfoy) working opposite Serkis for some of the films best scenes and supporting actors like James Franco and John Lithgow do a good job for their surprisingly short appearences. The role of Ceaser is obviously motion capture (which Serkis seems to be a big fan of) and it looks phenomenal. It definitely gives Avatar a run for its money (oh no, did I really just say that?) and having an abundance of apes leads to an epic climax.

Yes, it seems that everything is good in this film....and it is. There is so much effort put into this film that I have the utmost respect for the minds behind this film (and in front...because....they're on screen?....never mind). While it does leave on a depressing note (well, for humans anyway), there is a bittersweet feeling because the films takes us on a journey with Ceaser and therefore dedicates time to develop and make us like him which creates a strong protagonist that the film can revolve around, which would explain the high quality of the film.

So with some great writing, a fantastic performance from Andy Serkis (I think we need a motion capture Oscar category) and an excellent narrative leading into the events of Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a fantastic iternation to the popular franchise and proves to be  an excellent film in general. Now if only there wsa a sequel to continue this brilliance....oh wait! What's that on the horizon?

A stunning film with a fantastic lead, phenominal SFX, a gripping narrative and a strong screenplay.

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