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The Monday Movie Review: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Starring James Franco

Monday, 22 August 2011

Not quite satisfied that I had seen enough rioting on TV in the past couple of weeks, I got home from work Tuesday night/morning and decided that rioting chimps would be just the remedy to send me off to sleep mixed with a couple of beers and some home made wine, I didn't make the wine but man that was good stuff, I recommend that first off.

Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow and Andy Serkis

The Plot

This movie is not a rehash or going over of the old ape movies.  It acts as a foundation for a new film series, which look entirely better than the last lot we saw.  Will Rodman (Franco) is a San Francisco based scientist working on a cure of Alzheimer’s disease, he gets a baby Chimpanzee who he names Cesar (Serkis), Cesar’s mother was one of his test subjects who is killed after going on the rampage.  Cesar has inherited her high level of intelligence due to the testing and it doesn’t take him long to start figuring things out for himself sparking an all out war for supremacy.    

The Verdict
I really should start by telling you that I have never seen any of the really old ape movies nor have I seen the more recent Mark Wahlberg version.  This being a new series of movies all together helped that and I have to say this movie was brilliant, I was a little surprised that it only lasts for an hour and thirty minutes.  Don't let that put you off though this is an hour and thirty minutes of gripping cinema that will satisfy your interest from start to finish.

This is the first of the ape movies where they have used full CGI for the chimps rather than actual Humans in costumes with good make up effects.  The effects where outstanding, I feel like this movie has been coming forever and when you see the effects you know why.  The chimps look so real and one in particular Cesar played by Andy Surkis was sublime. 

It was fast, exciting, interesting and even sad at times.  The story behind the chimps reason for rising was particularly sad, I'm not one for pets or animals but I don't like to see them hurt or mistreated and that is exactly what was happening here with John Landon (Brian Cox) the ring leader of the hovel where Cesar is holed up on a court order following his attack on a Human.

The cruelty story of course goes further back than that, to where the chimps were initially tested with the antidote that scientists hoped would cure Alzheimer's disease, with that though the story still manages to drag you both ways, yes you feel sorry for the chimps but the story of Will (Franco) the lead scientist and his father Charles (Lithgow) also allows you to see the reasons behind the testing in Will's attempts to cure his own father Alzheimer's.

I really can't say that I was bored or wanting this movie to finish at any point, but I suppose the short run time leaves us open for the sequel which I'm sure will be epic.  I really can't rate this movie highly enough and would have to say it's probably the best one I have seen this year, this is a must see movie for the effects alone with story line that will not disappoint.  

Would I watch it again?

Oh Yes, I don't need to say any more than that.

Rating: MMMMM
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