Friday, August 5, 2011

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes- Spoiler Alert

Honestly, the Rise of the Planet of the Apes was not my first choice when I planned my recent trip to the movies but you know what they say...everything happens for a reason.  Needless to say, the 105 minutes I spent in the overly air-conditioned movie theater was well worth the ticket price.

This modern day reprise of the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes was an awesome display of cinematic ingenuity. With a starring lineup that includes John Lithgow, James Franco, Freida Pinto and an ape with more swagger than I've seen in most humans, this movie is sure to join the ranks of the likes of Avatar.

Will Rodman (played by Franco) is a scientist who is working on a genetic experiment, which is being tested on apes, that he believes will be the cure for Alzheimer's and all he needs is for the powers-to-be to give the green light for funding.  He is right on the brink of a success until all hell breaks loose and one of the apes runs amuck during a crucial presentation for the board of directors.

From that point on, Rodman's research is shut down and his boss demands that all of the lab apes be put down. Unwilling to give the only hope he has of finding a cure for the illness that plagues his father (played by Lithgow), he secretly takes one of the infant test apes home with him and continues his research on his own.

As the young ape, which he names Ceasar, progresses Rodman finds that his intelligence exceeds his wildest expectations. As Ceasar grows, he becomes not only more intelligent but more human in nature, and as he becomes more human in nature he begins to see just how different he is from other humans when he really starts to interact with the world around him.

Then the plot thickens after Ceasar tries to protect the people he has come to know as his family and is then caged like an animal, and then the city of San Fransico quickly learns the consequences of mistreating and pissing off a genetically enhanced primate.

Enter the guns, spears, explosions and such.

Long story short, I loved this movie! The acting and emotion of apes was phenomenal! The humans did a good job too, but the shear execution of how the animals were portrayed made this viewing experience a real treat.

I also liked the fact that there wasn't a lot of unnecessary violence and profanity. So Rise of the Planet of the Apes gets an enthusiastic 10 spirit-fingers. Go see it and take the family.

Don't forget to look out for my daughter's new book "The Lonely Kid" which hits stores August 31st!


Dan O. said...

Good Review! This is that rare summer movie that has brains and emotion in addition to the spectacle. It is also such a great film that it makes us forget about the 2001 piece of junk that Tim Burton tried to do but actually failed. Check out my review when you can!

Anonymous said...

The Planet of The Apes movie, the entire concept, is offensive. I believe the the story originally began as a Rod Serling project (and it is speculative what intentions and motives a Jew would have to conceive such an idea), but has now become something else. Change the timeframe, names to protect the innocence, and movie the location to ante-bellum Mississippi or Georgia, and no one would know the difference. Actually, the movie could've been a sequel to Roots. The movie is pro-eugenics, pro-racist, pro-Frankenstein, pro-white, pro-this and pro-anything that has to do with even the slightest notion of racial harmony, and the idea that all men are created equal. The movie is even pro-segregation: at the end of the movie, when the apes have escaped to a jungle-like park located on the other side of the river from San Francisco, the ape, particularly and condescendingly named Caesar, after whispering into the ear of his trainer/master to reveal that he even knows how to speak English, tells him that he will stay in the forest with his people, the other apes. He then climbs up the long tree to the top where he looks out across the river to the distant skyline of San Francisco. What is interesting is how the camera fades across the forest treetops, the river, and on towards the San Fran skyline. The river separates San Fran (civilization) from the apes in the forest (uncivilized savages). One gets the feeling, particularly since this is one of the last shots of the film, that separation is best, and is what the oppressed really wants (one character in the film actually says this when caesar refused to leave the cage to return home with his trainer/master). But this is just a small bit of how deeply covert the white supremacist messages are embedded into every aspect of the movie. The parallels between the historical racist attitude whites harbor towards blacks are unbelievable, inasmuch as this movie is worse than D W Griffith's Birth of a Nation. At least he was upfront and straightforward. This movie tries to play with our intelligence. As though we all (whites and blacks) are a bunch of uncivilized apes.

Unknown said...

I overall enjoyed this film. The story is well executed and there is a magical quality in this film that impressed me.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Photo