Rise of the Planet of the Apes
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Rise of the Planet of the Apes can be found here.

Gen-Sys pharmaceutical scientist Will Rodman (James Franco), while trying to develop a cure for Alzheimers, is forced to raise a baby chimpanzee when its mother, Bright Eyes (Terry Notary), who was injected with the experimental drug, virus ALZ 112, greatly increasing her intelligence, is shot while trying to protect her newborn. It rapidly becomes apparent that the brain-building effects of the drug have been passed from mother to her offspring, who Will names Caesar (Andy Serkis). When Caesar is forced into an ape sanctuary after he attacks a neighbor, he steals ALZ 113 from Will and feeds it to other captive apes, gorillas, and orangutans. Together, they form a simian army and revolt against mankind.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a prequel to as well as a reboot of the original Planet of the Apes series, which begins with Planet of the Apes (1968) and runs through Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1972). Its premise is similar to Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, but it is not a direct remake. It was followed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). The screenplay was written by American screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The original Planet of the Apes series is based on the 1963 novel La Plante des Singes by French writer Pierre Boulle.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a reboot of the original Planet of the Apes series. It has elements of a prequel (mostly to the original Planet of the Apes film), as well as elements of a remake of the story set by Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The basis thing to understand is that it starts fresh with a new continuity that is separate of the original Planet of the Apes franchise.

The prequel element is basically the fact that this movie takes place on Earth at present day, so chronologically before Planet of the Apes, which took place in the distant future. This movie sets up the chain of events that led to events that were originally depicted in the first movie, such as the ape revolt and the Icarus space mission (which carries the astronauts who will one day return to an ape-dominated Earth in the future). The reboot part follows the mythology of the original series, but updates some things in order to improve on some of the weaknesses and inaccuracies of the original films. Back when the original series came out, people didn't know as much as they do today about apes, and the audience was led to believe that the apes simply evolved into a talking, intelligent species. Also, special effects technology didn't allow for realistic apes. In order to be truer to the mythology, there are some refinements. It isn't exactly like the original series, as it doesn't include everything from all of the films, but it sticks to the core concept of an ape uprising with added depth to ground it in a plausible reality.

The remake elements of this film are mostly borrowed from elements of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The main ape is named Caesar, he's also the only advanced/intelligent ape. After witnessing mankind's capacity for cruelty towards apes, Caesar starts teaching other apes how to work together and eventually starts a revolt. Also, Caesar's first word being "no" was part of the story that was told by Caesar's father Cornelius about how one Ape stood up and said "no" to its masters which lead to revolution.

The apes this time around are more realistic, so they look like real apes and not people in costumes. However, in real life, apes' vocal cords are located higher in their throats and cannot be controlled as well as human vocal cords. As a result, gorillas, chimpanzees, and other apes cannot speak or mimic English or any other human language. Instead, they communicate with each other through sign language as well as growls and grunts and other noises and gestures.

As the film briefly explains, the intention to treat Alzheimer's disease in the movie is through viral gene therapy. Although the movie understandably simplifies this mechanism and its characteristics, it is an approach that has a sound theoretical basis and some evidence in practice. Several clinical trials have attempted to apply gene therapy, but the results have not yet yielded the therapeutic success as seen in the movie.

Viral gene therapy could prove to be useful in diseases or syndromes that are caused by a lack of certain proteins. A virus must be engineered that exhibits the normal capacity to invade human cells, yet none of its normally destructive properties. That virus would carry a piece of suitable genetic information (DNA) and release it inside the human cells, which would then lead to those cells producing the necessary protein(s), thereby compensating for the defects caused by the disease.

Practically, there are many problems and limitations associated with gene therapy; the movie suggests that the patient's immune system starts to reject the therapy. How this occurs is not explained in detail, but one of the drawbacks encountered in reality is the fact that delivery of genetic information to the cells is not stable; the newly added DNA is foreign, and therefore not copied into new cells, and therefore rejected; repeated treatment will be necessary. However, since the DNA carrier is a virus, with each therapy, there is a chance that the body's immune system will respond and create immunity against the carrier virus; so much that the virus is, at one point, cleared from the body before having had effect. The subject is resistant to therapy then.

In real life, the predictable problems with curing Alzheimer's disease through gene therapy would most likely not be rejection of the new DNA from brain cells. Brain tissue does not multiply as its cells no longer have the capacity to replicate. As long as new DNA is correctly delivered into those cells, rejection of it during DNA copying would not be expected to happen. The real problem is to get the new DNA into these cells in a controlled way. Getting the virus to deliver the new DNA to a select type of cells and not to others, and in optimal numbers, is the real challenge.

For the sake of story, this problem seems to have been mastered in the movie. The viral therapy ALZ-112 is administered by injection, which probably depended on the carrier virus being most efficient when entered directly into the bloodstream. When Charles becomes resistant to ALZ-112, Will suggests using a more agressive virus that can overcome the host's immune system. This treatment is called ALZ-113. Perhaps the carrier virus for this therapy can only exist as airborne particles, or within an aerosol (as opposed to dissolved in a solution), necessitating inhalation instead of injection. But keep in mind that this solution is of course primarily meant as a narrative tool to allow Caesar to infect the other apes more easily.

First off, as this is a science-fiction movie, suspension of disbelief is pretty much mandatory. However, it's possible that his ability was given through the genetic tampering with Caesar's mother. When Caesar was born, he was advanced and evolved beyond his mother, as evidenced by his increased intelligence and cognitive ability. So it's possible Caesar is the only one who can speak English, as he's the only second-generation ape influenced by the 112/113 drugs. So until the other apes in the group start having babies, it's possible the rest can't speak. It is also possible that Caesar does not really speak, but simply mimics the sounds of words; having learned to understand spoken English, he knows the meaning of words, and can even form a short sentence. He simply has so much knowledge of human sounds that he can do a series of grunts and make them sound like a meaningful sentence, not unlike human researchers who have spent so much time observing wild animals that they can closely mimic their sounds. Actually, a chimpanzee in real life named Viki was able to vocalize the words mama, papa, cup, and up. With further pseudo-scientific genetic tampering, it would not be entirely implausible for an ape to speak with similar limitations.

"Death and nature illuminate, elevate. Love ventures under, the rest all never," a seemingly unknown saying shared amongst well-respected philosophers back in the days of Greek mythology. This phrase has seen light since various movies such as Inception and Inglorious Basterds, noting from both directors that it is one of their main inspirations to make such movies, specifically Christopher Nolan. It has been said that he has based the premise of the entire movie upon this age old quote, stating that its meaning is so profound that Inception was merely a simple representation of a fragment of its meaning as he interpreted it.

Initially, the apes only want to live separately from humans and, to this end, only cause property damage while on their rampage through San Francisco to reach Muir Woods, north of the city, where you find redwood trees. Caesar is quick to reprimand any ape who attempts to harm a human. Once the apes reach the preserve they become docile, and there is no need to bring in the military to put down any kind of uprising. A scene shown early in the end credits reveals that the deadly virus which manifested in humans exposed to the ALZ113 has been spread to Will's neighbor, an airline pilot; graphics shown over the remainder of the credits depict a global pandemic of the virus, indicating that the apes-- who are immune to the virus-- rise to dominance once mankind has been wiped out. Once a species with an advantage over its competitors (such as superior intelligence) is established, it can be nearly impossible to eradicate.

There is little initial resistance against the apes because they launch a surprise "attack." The human authorities were attempting to shoot and or whip the apes, but they were both outnumbered and outmatched.

Caesar leads the apes across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the redwood forest. Will follows in an abandoned highway patrol car. As he runs down a path into the forest calling Caesar's name, Koba jumps on him, but Caesar appears, pushes Koba aside, and helps Will to his feet. Will begs Caesar to come home with him, promising to protect him. Caesar hugs him and whispers in his ear, 'Caesar IS home.' As Will watches affectionately, Caesar and the apes start climbing up the redwoods and looking out over the bay. As the credits begin to roll, Will's neighbor Hunsiker (David Hewlett) heading for the San Francisco International Airport where he works as a pilot. His nose suddenly starts to bleed. In the final scene, the camera pans up to the flight boards showing all of the international flights scheduled that day, an ominous indication that the virus will soon spread worldwide.

The director and producer have already talked about Rise of the Planet of the Apes laying the foundation for a film series by including several clues to the sequels. However, none of the sequels will specifically focus on retelling any one film but try to combine different aspects of the overall mythology in a modern way to tell new stories. As said before, the basic premise of an ape revolt is reminiscent of the plot of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Halfway through the movie, characters watch television coverage of the launch of Icarus 1, intended to be the first manned space mission to Mars. Near the end of the movie, newspaper headlines detail NASA's having lost contact with the Icarus, laying the groundwork for a sequel in the vein of the original Planet of the Apes. The next film in the series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, incorporates several elements from Battle of the Planet of the Apes (humans and apes are forced to co-exist in an un easy truce, with much disagreement within the groups themselves).

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