I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) last night while I caught up on some work. Wow, excellent film. I wanted to see this in the theaters when it came out, but I never had a chance. Better late then never.
First off, I think I may have seen most of the original Planet of the Apes (1968) back in the 1980’s, but not the entire film. In any case, I knew the gist. This 2011 film is somewhat of a prequel and a reboot of that 1970’s series. In case you have not seen it, the film stars Andy Serkis (using some amazing motion capture) as Caesar, James Franco as researcher Wil Rodman, Frieda Pinto as primatologist (and girlfriend to Wil Rodman), and others in minor roles. Interestingly enough, the stars of the film are not the humans, but the apes, chimpanzees, and other primates who are part of the revolution. This film takes place in the modern day, and Franco’s researcher character is searching for a cure to the Alzheimer’s disease. In short, Caesar is a baby chimpanzee whose mind is inadvertently advanced through the use of this potential cure.
Unfortunately, bad things happen, and Caesar gets locked up away from the human family he has grown up with. In a short period of time, Caesar has enough of the injustices put upon himself and his primate brethren, and stages first a revolt, then a revolution.
It’s a fascinating film, and I have to give a lot of credit to both the story by writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Andy Serkis’ performance as Caesar, and the good folks at Weta Workshop for some amazingly realistic CGI. How fascinating? Consider this — the film is about primates rising up against humans, and you are rooting for the chimps to beat the humans.
Go watch this film. It’s damn good.