I was shocked by how amazing Rise of the Planet of the Apes was... shocked! I have to admit I was very skeptical of this film. I didn’t like the idea of it when it was first announced, when the first ape images were released I thought, “well, the apes look good but the story could still end up being crap.” Then the trailers started being released and my excitement level shot up a bit, but I still thought that maybe the best parts of the film were thrown into the trailer, and still wasn’t sure if the story would play out very well.
I was so wrong in thinking those things, I actually feel bad for having had some of these doubts because Rise of the Planet of the Apes turned out to be the best movie of the summer, and one of the best films of the year! I loved this film so damn much, and was enthrallingly entertained. I was absolutely captivated by the characters and the story that was unfolding on screen. It was also a very heavy and emotional film, no joke there were points in the film where I just wanted to cry. Honestly, I never thought this film would have packed quite a power punch. Director Rupert Wyatt did a fantastic job bringing thids film to life, and I dont' think it could have been done any better.
I loved how the story revolved around Caesar, the main ape in the film played by Andy Serkis, and if you think that Serkis doesn’t have a shot at being nominated for his role as Caeser who was completely CGI, think again. This CGI motion capture performance is no joke one of the best performances I’ve seen all year, and it’s freakin’ computer animated! It’s so weird to be saying that, but it’s true. Weta has taken the art of motion capture CGI to the next level, this was flawless animation and design. If they can get this life like and realistic with apes, I don’t think getting a perfect CGI replication of a human is too far off. Caesar was such an intense and incredible character and there are moments during the film where I got goosebumps because the performance of the character, moments where I gasped out loud in the theater.
The film had a great supporting cast of actors that included James Franco and John Lithgow, and even thought they were great, they pale in comparison to the performance that we saw in Caesar.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is an escape film. The apes are in a places where they don’t belong, and they plan an escape to find that place where they do belong. And like many of the other great escape films, it was powerful, emotional and adventurous. There’s a lot of stuff that I want to talk about regarding this film, but they are major plot points and character details. I will keep this review spoiler free, but I wasn’t expecting a lot of things that this film dishes out.
One thing I’ll tell you is that the movie does a great job of addressing the issue of how the apes take over the world, because obviously humans greatly outnumber the species. How do a small group of apes take over the world? A brilliant element is introduced in the film that level’s the playing field.
I enjoyed every minute of this movie, and I highly recommend that you go out and watch it now. This movie is for everyone, both hardcore movie geeks and the general audience. I honestly can’t imagine any of you seeing this movie and not liking it.
This movie did an amazing job setting up the mythology behind The Planet of the Apes, and I hope we get to see a sequel soon.