REVIEW: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

The first thing that came to mind about the idea of a new film in the Planet Of The Apes series was this: what isRise Of The Planet Of The Apes actually classed as? Is it a prequel where we find out how Earth became overrun by apes? Or is it a reboot and the start of something new? It isn’t the kind of prequel you have seen in previous films that build up to the original versions such as The Godfather: Part II (flashbacks), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, Batman Begins or even X-Men: First Class, but the dialogue within, the characters, the visual effects and background settings are the beginning of something new, so it is more of a start of a reboot where either this story will continue or another new story will rise.

Many things within the film have become the start of something new, but you cannot help but feel stunned at the motion capture visual effects! It was a wise decision using motion-capture effects for the apes rather than full CGI effects and people in suits because the apes looked real and using the motion-capture expressed even further how similar apes/monkeys are to human beings. The techniques of filming and the emotions and the differences and similarities between species that you feel within the film bought back similarities from District 9 in 2009. Thankfully it wasn’t one of those “big budget, little brains” so to speak kind of films, which is what we are seeing quite a lot at the moment. There is no doubt that this will be a strong contender in the production category at the 84th Academy Awards, but it should earn a sealed lock for Best Visual Effects.

After his recent Oscar nominated performance in 127 Hours, James Franco rises to an even higher level by leading the cast in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes into a whole new dimension, but this time joining two different species of the same family together. The close friendship between Dr. Will Rodman and his adopted monkey pet (more like a father-son relationship) Ceasar together express how similar yet how different human beings are to apes despite coming from the same family of species. It can be said once again that Franco is part of something special, and part of another franchise. In almost every single film there is, there is always a male and a female who fall in love, and despite that Caroline became Will’s girlfriend, it felt more like Will and the ape were in love and it was more about them. Plus, she was barely involved at all so therefore she was a completely irrelevant character who just was not needed.

Andy Serkis has a critically acclaimed history with motion-capture after his fantastic role as Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (and reprising the role in the upcoming Hobbit films) and as Kong in King Kong, which are ironically all Peter Jackson films. However, Andy Serkis performs motion-capture for the first time as ape protagonist Caesar. He stole the show of this, like he did in Lord Of The Rings andKing Kong and proves that he is the master of motion-capture! Serkis always provides a whole new personality to a motion-capture character, even without speaking that just involves actions. Now that the Harry Potter franchise is over, we see the appearance of Tom Felton as Dodge Landon who is one of the people who ‘look after’ the apes. Landon is a lot like Draco Malfoy: cowardly, arrogant and abusive. Felton proves again that he is perhaps better at playing a villain. He did pull off quite a decent American accent for a Brit. John Lithgow gave a great performance too as Charles Rodman.

The making of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was not your typical colourful Hollywood film. In some ways it felt quite surreal, extraordinary and quite frankly, more professional. It would have been even better than it already is if Peter Jackson had either directed or produced this film, which is another link to District 9 seeing as Jackson produced it. As for the director of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, who was Rupert Wyatt before this film? Now, he is known as the director of a great film and one of those rare reboots that turn out really great! The audience feel a wide mix of emotions in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes from heartbreak due to some animal cruelty, to heart-warmth due to the very close and beautiful relationship between Will and Caesar and to a lot of excitement with the action and anticipation of how the film will end. Should there be a sequel, it’d be good to see Rupert Wyatt reprise his role as director, and maybe make Peter Jackson or Neill Blomkamp as producer.

Overall, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was a lot of great fun and was surprisingly a very heartfelt and genuine, which is the first time we have seen within the series. This one certainly makes up for 2001 remake in every way and truly shows even Tim Burton how it is done! This perhaps looked too modern to be a prequel of a film in the 1960s, but now that this is a reboot and we get a brief idea of the story of how it all happened anyway, we could be seeing a whole new series be reborn all over again. It is something to take seriously and to get great fun out of it, so it will leave you with a wide grin on your face, or maybe even make you shed a tear or two.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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