Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Released in theaters August 5, 2011
Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence

My Rating: ★★★★★

Will Rodman (James Franco) is on a quest to perfect a cure for Alzheimer’s. Not only is this his life’s work, it is personal—Rodman’s father (John Lithgow) is suffering from the degenerative disease. When laboratory chimps begin to show remarkable improvements, even enhancements, from the virus/cure, Rodman is excited to share his research with a company that can put it on the shelves. Unfortunately, his prize chimp suddenly becomes aggressive and destroys all hope he has for any outside funding, essentially shutting down his program. Afterward, Rodman and his chimp handler (Tyler Labine) find the reason for Bright Eye’s aggression—she was protecting her infant hidden away in her cage. Unable to destroy the precious life, Rodman smuggles the baby chimp home, names him Caesar (Andy Serkis) and continues his research. After a protective outburst reminiscent of his mother’s final behavior, Caesar lands himself in a primate habitat where he works to lead his peers to true freedom.

I was a little hesitant to go to the theater (drive-in) to watch this one. First of all, I wasn’t sure the content would be suitable for the kids, but we watched a couple trailers together and they wanted to go. Also, I didn’t care much for the last “revamp” of the Planet of the Apes film. I am thrilled to admit I was extremely impressed with this movie!

This was so incredibly well-written, directed, and acted. From James Franco down to Andy Serkis (who we already know is extremely talented with CGI projects), everyone was spot on. The special effects were seamless. The plot was both entertaining and thought-provoking. Every emotion that the characters, especially Ceasar, experience is felt through and through. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Just like a good book, we all want a good movie to move us—to bring us completely into that world for a couple hours of our life. Rise of the Planet of the Apes does just that, brilliantly…