|Running Time:||105 Minutes|
This is the second attempt at a reboot to Planet of the Apes but will it re-create the success of the debut film?
A brain-repairing drug is given to an ape that massively improves his intelligence. After living with his adopted scientist father in secret he starts to command other apes that draws close to a conflict with humankind.
With new motion capture technologies in play by 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is visually outstanding, particularly when focusing on the apes. Not only has the technology improved, Director Rupert Wyatt introduces some beautiful shooting techniques that really make it stand out against the rest, as seen mainly by close-ups of the apes displaying emotion. Some appropriate and well-placed nods to the original films are thrown into the mix, allowing the film to continue from a previous point in the franchise, even though it’s now centred on experimental drug testing rather than time and space travel.
But there’s more. As the lead ape, Caesar is incredibly endearing especially when he’s shown in a stylish montage from only a day old to a fully grown chimp. This is established more so by Will and Caroline (James Franco & Freida Pinto) and their affectionate relationship with him, as well as Will’s dad’s love for Ceasar and his continuing endurance of Alzheimer’s – the reason for the drug testing in the first place. Later on we see Caesar gain independence and form an alliance with the other apes, which builds up to an incredible finale. A particular scene where Caesar retaliates in anger at one of the sanctuary workers is the best of the six film franchise to date and brings hope to the future of the series.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes stays loosely true to the over-arching story and successfully expands on the most interesting parts of the franchise. It doesn’t offer the apes walking and talking abilities on a plate like before and actually makes it a real treat as they become cleverer. It’s now dropped the traditional Sci-Fi route and replaced it with something much needed; after all, the franchise had long begun to stagnate from sticking with the same formula some decades earlier.
This is by far the best film in the franchise so far and it actually does a lot in the process to achieve this: the apes look incredible, the story is immersive, and the CGI apes are enough to make it worth watching alone. Go now, and watch this movie.