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Old 08-13-2011, 11:00 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Default Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The success of Rise of the Apes - and yes, it is a success - lies in the film's acknowledgement of the importance of the audience buying into the relationship between the principal ape, Caesar and Will (James Franco). Over the course of the story it morphs from that of father and son to friends with a mutual understanding and respect for each other. It is this relationship that will determine ultimately whether you enjoy the film; if you buy into it or just view it cynically. Key to the appeal of Caesar is Andy Serkis' performance which brings a sense of humanity to the character, enabling the audience to connect with him in a way that you wouldn't with just CGI.

Will ends up taking Caesar home with him when an accident in the lab threatens the lives of all the apes, who are ordered to be put down due to one of their counterparts turning inexplicably violent (which later turns out to be purely the act of a protective parent). Caesar grows from a baby to an adult with the guidance and encouragement from Will, all the while growing stronger physically and increasing in intelligence thanks to a virus Will was using on Caesar's parents to try and create a cure for Alzheimer's. The audience is presented with two arguments; the benefits of what could be achieved through Will's experiments and the rights of Caesar to have his own life, free from the control of humans. This is presented well and never with an attempt to persuade, merely to consider.

Things come to a head when Caesar seeks to protect Will's father, who has Alzheimer's, when he gets confused and ends up in argument with a neighbour; as much as Caesar has been raised as a human, he is an animal and though his sense of loyalty is admirable, his actions are not and they are with not consequence as Caesar is taken to an ape sanctuary as punishment.

This is where Tom Felton comes in as Dodge, son of the man who runs the facility in which Caesar finds himself. He torments and abuses the apes in order to assert authority over them - though I suspect this comes from a place of fear rather than just simple loathing. We already know Tom can play a bully in a fantasy environment but here he plays a very real villain that we know to exist beyond the silver screen. What happens to the character isn't surprising however the manner in which it occurs is pretty nasty. Dodge is central to Caesar turning on humanity; he represents the worst of our species where previously Caesar has only seen the best in the form of Will. This highlights for him how not everyone will accept that animals and humans are equal in their right to freedom and as such illustrates why Caesar needs to be with his own kind.

I won't spoil the ending of the film but I will say that it brought a tear to my eye. Granted that is not difficult but going into the movie, I did not expect to become that invested, which is a credit to how well the story was told. During some of the confrontation scenes between the police and the apes, I found myself thinking of the recent footage of the riots in England. I'll refrain from drawing parallels but I would be surprised if others did not pick up on the similarities as well.

My expectations for this film were already high, based on previews and thanks to a perfect blend of solid performances and intricate visual effects, they were thankfully met. It is well worth a watch if you fancy a blockbuster that asks you difficult questions whilst also entertaining you at the same time.

Tickets for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, out today, can be ordered here.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
MidnightMarauder9982's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
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I found this movie to be completely amazing. and TO ADD the fact that Tom Felton was in it. ah! This movie was really powerful. The father son relationship was unwilling. The fact of a force so strong is willing and chilling. The Rise is now a Dawn and I cant wait to finally seeing what has to come.
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