Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Will Rodman (James Franco) is a San Francisco scientist who has been trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by testing a genetically engineered retrovirus on chimpanzees. The virus mutates the chimpanzees, giving them a human level of intelligence. One of his test subjects, a female chimpanzee, goes on a rampage because she believes her baby, to whom she secretly gave birth, is threatened. She is killed after disrupting a board meeting. Will’s boss Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) orders subordinate Robert Franklin (Tyler Labine) to put all the test chimpanzees down, but Robert cannot bring himself to kill the chimpanzee’s baby, and instead gives him to Will, who names him Caesar (Andy Serkis) and raises him in his house. Caesar has inherited his mother’s high intelligence, and learns quickly.

It seems the common trait in the cinema of late reboots, remakes, reimaginings, sequals and prequels. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is another one of those. The film itself is a reboot of the Planet of the Apes series, which previously spanned five films.The film is one of the surprises this year, in a way it came out of nowhere. Well, especially for me – just wasn’t on my radar.

James Franco certainly has been a busy man this year as he stars in another film in 2011, and as always he is very watchable and holds great screen presence. He has good chemistry with Caesar, I think this is helped with motion capture and the brilliance of Andy Serkis.

I think the big talking point is the motion capture and the CGI. Have to say all looks absolutely stunning and so realistic. All the apes look as real as you and me, especially the Orangutan which left me wide eyed as to how amazing it looked.

I really enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and feel it deserves to stand tall among the other summer blockbusters out this year and highly recommend it. There are plans for further sequels as it’s set-up for it (don’t forget to stay after credits)


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