I have seen tons in theaters this summer. Some have been complete flops in my opinion, others have completely surprised me. I saw the preview for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" a few months ago. I must say, I wasn't very impressed. Then, I read up a little bit about the story and it sounded pretty cool. My family is on a beach trip, and Jessie and I went to see it.
First off, you should probably know that I love just about anything that James Franco is in. I think he is an incredible actor. When I heard about an "Apes" prequel, I remember thinking, "Great, as if Tim Burton and Marky Marky didn't taint the legacy of this franchise enough."
Tim Burton did as much for the "Apes" franchise as Joel Schumacker did for the "Batman" franchise. Anyway, I digress.
The movie revolves around an experimental genetic testing method done on apes by Gene Sys, a genetic pharmaceutical company. Will Rodman (James Franco) is the lead scientist/researcher developing ALZ 112. He hopes to cure Alzheimer's, but has yet to test the "virus" on a human subject. Enter: his father (John Lithgow).
The story moves to the beat of Caesar, the ape that Will Rodman befriends after his mother is killed. He gets progressively more intelligent throughout the movie to the point he begins to question why he obeys humans. At this point things get crazy.
I won't give too much of the plot away, and there are a billion places that you could read all about it online. I walked into the theater fully expecting a CGI-laden travesty, but I left feeling pleasantly surprised. John Lithgow's character must've been extremely hard to portray, but, given how hard he rocked the Trinity Killer in Dexter Season 4, I wouldn't put anything past him. I was very impressed by his performance but ... he isn't the one that stole the show.
As much as I love James Franco, he wasn't even my favorite actor. Andy Serkis owned the role of Caesar. I have never felt so emotionally attached to a character that was CGI. Yeah, Gollum was cool, but he took this character to A WHOLE 'NOTHA LEVEL.
The story was smooth, in my opinion. I've always wondered what happened before Charlton Heston landed on the planet of the apes. Honestly, I'm really hoping that this is the first in a resurrection of the franchise. Just, please, no Tim Burton re-re-make "Planet of the Apes".
Rotten Tomatoes: 81 % (as of 8/9/2011)
Skip-0-meter: A - for the impressiveness of Serkis' performance, and it completely surprising me by not being absolutely horrible. Also, I will never call an ape a "monkey" again.
- THE GOOD
- Your girlfriend might even like this one because it's pretty dramatic
- The CGI looked great. The apes looked incredibly realistic.
- Serkis and Lithgow provide solid performances.
- THE BAD :(
- My ticket was almost $10.00
- I actually wanted to see how the virus effected the humans