Monday, August 8, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

In Short:
A solid return to form for the series and a great example of CGI done right


Full review after the jump…

My Ramblings:
Whether you realize it or not, you have seen Andy Serkis's acting before.  He is the man that wore the crazy motion capture suit which eventually created Gollum in all three Lord of the Rings films (watch this and you'll see what I mean).  If you're like me, then your main recollection from the Lord of the Rings trilogy is Gollum, and when you realize it was a real actor behind that performance it is pretty damn impressive.  Well Mr. Serkis steals the show again in Rise of the Planet of the Apes as 'Caesar', and he deserves a little dap for the performance come award season (although this is very unlikely since technically his face never even appears in the movie).

Going the way of many a successful action movie as of late, Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes a more realistic twist for this go round.  James Franco (whose performance is terrible as usual) plays a scientist who is working on a brain repairing drug that has massive medicinal implications.  As you could've guessed, he tests the early versions of the drug on apes and it has huge effects on their intelligence.  Franco ends up taking one of the lab apes (Caesar) home, and much of the film chronicles his development.  As the intelligence of the apes increases, so do the interspecies conflicts, and the movie unfolds from there...

The movie does two things right: gorgeous CGI and a far more realistic twist on a once not-so-realistic story.  If you're a softy for animals, a lot of the scenes are a little rough because while the apes look real, so does the animal cruelty.  Franco's acting is suspect (I know most people won't agree with me there but I just struggle to enjoy him in any of his movies) and the casting of Draco Malfoy as one of the movie bad boys just doesn't work.  Despite these minor flaws, the overall result is an awesome and powerful movie, with one scene in particular (you'll know it when you see it) that will no doubt make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  Great summer flick, and nice to see the apes back and in prime form.




  1. Nice thoughts on this film, Kyle. I really dug it too. I agree that the human characters were weak, but Serkis' performance as Caesar and the spectacular technical achievements on display, as well as a genuinely powerful story, make this a very pleasant surprise.

    Welcome to the LAMB too BTW. I also reviewed this film on my blog, Andy Buckle's Film Emporium ( if you're interested.

  2. Thanks for the welcome Andy. Andy Serkis is a weird dude but you can't deny that everything he does is amazing. I'm gonna check out your blog right now, and thanks for the comment!

  3. LOL @ the "Bagpipe-o-meter", pretty funny.

    Anyways, great summer entertainment here. You're right about the human characters, they're all pretty lame...

  4. I had to rep 'Braveheart' in some way in every review...hence, the 'Bagpipe-o-meter'

    Simpler form of this review: