Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a sci-fi movie directed by Rupert Wyatt (he directed the Rise of the Planet of Apes 1Escapist). This movie explains how Earth became overrun by apes. It stars James Franco as Will Rodman. He is a scientist who is obsessed with his brain tissue formula before his father who is a musician becomes afflicted with Alzheimer’s. The father is played by John Lithgow. The formula is a possible cure to Alzheimer’s.

Will Rodman is experimenting with brain tissue regenaration for several years and it was initially successful with one of the test chimps. Something went wrong and the test chimps were put down except for one young primate. To save the young primate, it was taken home by Will and raised him like his own kid. The primate was named Caesar. Unfortunately as  Caesar gets older he became protective and aggressive and  has to be brought to a shelter where he is abused by the caretakers (led by Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter) and the other apes. He felt so alone and resentful. Having genetically and intelligence-enhanced and being smarter than an average ape, Caesar rises in the ranks and leads a revolution with the help of an ex-circus circus orangutan who understands sign language. The rebellion challenges the dominance of Man.

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James Franco played it very well as the well-intentioned scientist. Caesar the ape is the main character and he is the heart and soul of the film. Because of him you actually find yourself rooting and feel empathy for the primates. Freida Pinto (from Slumdog Millionaire) needs more improvement on her acting, she is fairly unremarkable in the film. Andy Serkins as Caesar is astonishing.

The movie is very well directed and written so is the pacing and the special effects are cutting edge. The confrontation between human and apes that took place in the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is well worth the wait. The final farewell from Caesar to Rodman is very moving.

So far, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the best movie of 2011 and it is definitely worth seeing. It is hugely entertaining and moving.

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