Film Review: Rise of the Planets of the Apes

Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

Today, I finally decided to go see the film, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. This film is not a prequel, a sequel nor a remake. It’s a complete re-boot. It tells a whole new original story of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, which takes place in our current time.

Here is my review…

Plot/synopsis: This film is taken place in San Francisco. It tells a story of a young scientist named, Will Rodman (James Franco) who worked on a science experiment that will cure Alzheimer’s disease. Will’s father, Charles Rodman (John Lithgow) has Alzheimer’s and he wants to make his father better.

To test out the experiment, they use chimpanzees. The Alzheimer’s virus mutates the chimpanzees, which makes the animals more human. They use a female chimpanzee named, “Bright Eyes” for testing, but she is killed after she disrupts a board meeting because she felt her baby chimp is threatened. Instead they use her baby chimp for testing and Will Rodman keeps the baby chimp. He named the baby chimp, Caesar. Later, Caesar escapes from the primate facility where he is being kept. Caesar rescues the other apes and the apes decide to take over San Francisco. 

I was a little worried that this film was going to suck, but to my surprise. This turned out to be an excellent film. I believe this film was inspired from the old “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” because both of these films are very similar, although it wasn’t meant to be a remake.

I was impressed on how realistic “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was. They did a great job on making apes being more believable that they can be more human. This film will make you realize that apes do have emotions and feelings like humans do. It’s not just an action movie, it’s got a serious story to tell too. This film wants people to believe that apes can be a part of this world as well.

The animated character of Caesar who is voiced by Andy Serkis, is one of the best movie characters in a long time. I have a feeling that Andy Serkis could get Oscar nominated for this role. Andy Serkis is most famous for his role as Gollum for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

I also think there is a possibility that John Lithgow could get an Oscar nomination nod for Best Supporting Actor. As predicted, Lithgow killed it with his acting in this movie. It was nice to see him on the big screen again because he haven’t had a live action big screen movie in a long while. He’s been doing so much TV work and animated films as of late.

When you watch the apes in this movie, they want you to see they have different emotions. They can be funny, lovable, angry, evil, sad, etc.

I thought Freida Pinto was smoking hot in this film. James Franco did an okay job, but I wished they picked a better male lead with acting talent. Somebody that can really get you into the film.

I also had a blast with the action scenes. The Golden Gate Bridge scene at the end was pretty amazing.

My only complaint is that I wish the film was a lot longer. It should have been a good 2 and a half hours long. I thought there was more of a story to tell and they did kind of leave open for a sequel, of course. I hope they do a new “Planet of the  Apes” film where it’s taken place in New York City so they can explain the Statue of Liberty thing at the end of the original movie, that would take this franchise to an interesting turn.

In the theater I was in, I was surprised on how many old people were in there to see the film. The audience was mostly people around 50 – 80 years of age. I guess all the old timers were big fans of the original films with Charlton Heston and this new film brings back memories to those.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was a great homage to the original films. I loved it!


Score for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” = **** (4 stars as in “Excellent”)

One thought on “Film Review: Rise of the Planets of the Apes”

  1. Nice review. I was very pleasantly surprised by this movie, especially given how disappointing nearly all of the big blockbusters have been this summer.

    The apes (especially Serkis) completely upstage the human actors. I’m also starting to think Freida Pinto is just a pretty face (she hasn’t proven anything acting-wise so far after all). Hopefully, Serkis will be rewarded for his outstanding performance.

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