Whether you're a fan of the Planet Of The Apes
saga, or a newbie who hasn't really seen any of the classic adventures but was instead subjected to the awful Tim Burton version (like myself), this "prequel/origin" tale is a thrilling adventure that serves as a morality fable as well as thrilling entertainment.
James Franco plays a scientist trying to find a cure for Alzheimers, by experimenting on chimpanzees. After a young chimp's mother is killed in the lab, he takes pity on the baby chimp and raises him at home with his father. Given the name Caesar, the chimp starts showing heightened intelligence and becomes part of the young doctor's family. But growing up in captivity, and being viewed as a pet by outsiders soon take their toll, and Caesar begins to have doubts about the life in store for him.
How the plot moves on from this point to the actual "rise" of the apes is extremely believable and actually quite frightening when you think about. The climactic battle scene on the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco is exciting and features brilliant special effects, but alas, it's over too soon. On the plus side though, the ending paves the way for another chapter in the "prequel/origin" mould before the plot comes full circle to the original Charlton Heston film.
The visual effects are astounding, especially the apes. It's quite hard to tell what's computed images and what's an actual animal. It's a pity the acting of the humans couldn't be digitally created because that's one of the few low points of the movie. James Franco continues to seem uninterested, and Freida Pinto is wasted in her role as love interest. John Lithgow and Brian Cox fare much better, but Caesar manages to out-act them all in this exciting sci-fi adventure. (4 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
is a revolution; an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before.
Caesar is a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug's creator, Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned.
Seeking justice, Caesar assembles a simian army and escapes -- putting man and primate on a collision course that could change the planet forever.
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