Thursday, January 19, 2012
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) - 4.5/5
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 effect...it 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