Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) - 4.5/5

Being a fan of this franchise since childhood (back when video stores existed...oh those were the days), the reboot of the series that was Tim Burton's atrocity certainly seemed to bury it in its grave. I didn't expect it to come back...not even a decade later. This is why when "Rise" was announced, as a loose remake of the film "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes", the skepticism poured out. Now after watching "Rise", it has to be admitted...this is how a reboot for a classic franchise SHOULD BE DONE. It homages the original series in a multitude of ways all the while creating a new way to view the series that brings it up to date.

Will (Franco) is on the breakthrough of a lifetime. His work to cure Alzheimers has created a drug that can repair the brain. His testing on chimpanzees has produced a strange side increases the intelligence of the primate by multitudes. The one chimpanzee he raises at home, Caesar (Serkis) shows an innate ability to be smarter than the people around him. That's why when he is torn from his family and forced into a primate home, he plans an escape...that includes bringing all of his fellow apes up to par in intelligence with him.

There is hardly enough room to praise this film in the ways I would want to. As a fan of the series, "Rise" was everything I could hope for in a reboot. It takes the series in some new directions focusing primarily on making Caesar the true protagonist of the film and it does so with such vigor and craftsmanship that by the end of the film I would have joined the damn apes in tearing that whole fucking city down. This new attempt at really bringing the humanity and characterization to the apes is how the original series ended up - but it does it in a way that makes them seem like true characters we can relate to. A brilliant move in writing that hits the heart of the franchise home.

This of course is matched with top notch special effects and action sequences. Casting Serkis as Caesar was a brilliant move as he brings the humanity to a completely digital character, while the action scenes (although at times seem a bit forced like the neighbor attack) are well paced and expertly cut to give it some urgency. Although the action is mostly subdued by character development and story telling, don't expect it to be ripe with over the top sequences that the trailer liked people to think. It's a thoughtful film that happens to have a few placed in for story work.

Don't be afraid because "Rise" allows those unfamiliar with the films to jump right in while giving a TON of little details that homage the series (names, newspapers, and repeated sequences for example). This is one of the best films of 2011 as it blends a plethora of different genres together into a fantastic reboot for a series that desperately needed it. It's everything a fan could ask for. Blood Brothers approved!

Written By Matt Reifschneider

1 comment:

  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was definitely better than Tim Burton’s rendition so I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this. In comparison to The Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, I liked the new version of the rebellion and I love the bridge scenes. I’ve been a long time fan of Planet of the Apes and I was disappointed that I could only find thirteen episodes of the animated series on Turns out that the series didn’t last long at all with only thirteen episodes, but this would have allowed freedom for the ape story to get creative. I watch a lot of movies and shows since I work for DISH and all of the original Planet of the Apes movies are much loved by me because they were able to make so many sequels even though it’s not a typical horror/slasher film. I wouldn’t mind seeing new sequels directed by Rupert Wyatt or who ever else is brave enough to take a stab at them.