Rise of the Apes is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
Rise of the Apes is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. less
“An intriguing narrative presented in the most spectacular manner with the help of breathtaking special effects. Brilliant performances especially by Andy Serkis makes this apes-saga a must watch.”
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Reboots are a tricky proposition, you just have to look at the cinematic wasteland to witness the ugly behemoths lying around that failed magnificently to realise how few studios realise how to make one. But every once in a while comes along a team of writers and director who understand the dynamics of the original and how to play around with it to present a fresh take that offers more than its share of nods to the original. Nolan did that with 'Batman Begins', Campbell did it with 'Casino Royale' and Rupert Wyatt manages a coup detat with 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' something Tim Burton's 2001 remake failed spectacularly at.
Will (James Franco) works at GenSys, developing a drug that can cure Alzheimer's, something afflicting his father, Charles (John Lithgow). He even manages to find a successful test subject in a female chimpanzee he names 'Bright Eyes' after her green irises (an after-effect of the drug); however 'Bright Eyes' dies in an incident leaving behind a newborn whom Will reluctantly takes back home. What initially was supposed to be a baby-sitting job for a few days turns into weeks, months and finally years when Charles & Will grow attached to the chimp whom they name Caeser. Caeser displays signs of intelligence way beyond any human his same age and Will guesses the effects of the drug somehow passed from mother to son. As Caeser grows not just physically but emotionally he yearns to go outside, something which doesnt go down with other human who come in contact with him. Ultimately much to his and Wills chagrin, Caeser is locked away in a holding facility for simians. His torture at the hands of the sadistic caretaker Dodge (Tom Felton) and initial resentment by the other "stupid" apes only spurs him on to finally lead a revolt. Will the revolt be successful? Will Caeser lead his kind to freedom?
I am no fan of the original series and having not read the book on which the original was based I was a little sceptical about this ones prospects. I have however admired the analogies which the original series put forth about various intricate rights of any being. This is something the movie gets bang on right, even if at times things feel a little cliched. The thing that really takes the cake is the manner in which it incorporates various elements and characters into the narrative which subtly hint at the future instalments rather than make things obvious (looking at you Marvel). I'll not spoil the fun for you but anyone who has some idea about the original series will recognise this hidden Easter eggs in character names, incidents, events and a lot more.
WETA once again provides some phenomenal special effects work and coupled with Andy Serkis' brilliant performance captured in CGI, Caeser will join the ranks of the finest CGI creations on screen ever. The manner in which Wyatt knows exactly when and how to utilise the CGI without committing overkill is praise-worthy. Scenes towards the end when the Apes run amok in San Francisco present a sense of scale and danger which will have you in awe, the throngs of excitement and also give you goosebumps.
James Franco is pretty good, while the ever dependable John Lithgow is amazing. Tom Felton plays yet another variation of Draco while Brain Cox shows how to do evil without having flared nostrils, contorted faces or yelling. Freida Pinto is the only misstep but she's barely there thankfully.
'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' was quite an unexpected treat; it gives an oft-repeated story a fresh take filled with enough historical analogies and mixes in the mythos of the original series in a manner that only true fans can recognise but the rest might connect in future instalments. The CGI work is exemplary and Andy Serkis is amazing. Plus its not in 3D! Go for it and you wont be disappointed.