A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives advanced intelligence to a chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising.A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives advanced intelligence to a chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising.A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives advanced intelligence to a chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising.
This story is an origin story about how the Apes began to rise to power and about a man who is bent on curing Alzheimer's and raising an ape who has been past on the genes of the cure from his mother and what the effects this has on this one ape named Caesar.
The very surprising thing about this film is how story based and character based it really is. From the trailers it looked like just another cure gone wrong and a lot of violence happens but I was truly surprised by this film's story and how well told it was. I do think it needed to be just a tad longer in the beginning showing a little more of Caesar's childhood but it's a small fault and can be overlooked. But it is something truly wonderful to see how truly well fleshed out these characters are in this film especially for a "summer blockbuster." All character motivations are known throughout the film. James Franco's character named Will Rodman really wants to make this cure so he can cure his father. So a lot of us can really connect with him and in seeing he is making this cure for the best intentions. And his boss is the classic wants the cure for money type of character. But the best most drawn out character is the character of Caesar. The chimpanzee that becomes increased in intelligence is the true star of the film. He cannot talk and he is a computer made image and yet you really understand him, love him, and feel for him. Caesar is played by motion capture actor Andy Serkis (his second film as an ape, the other one being King Kong (2005)) brings so much to the table. He breathes so much personality into this ape and it's just truly something to wow at and the writers are very wise to really shift the story over from Will to Caesar as Caesar gets sent into an Ape refuge. While there he gets smarter and learns of the true nature of how apes are treated inside there and decides to take action.
I think it was very smart on the filmmakers to shift the apes from makeup to cgi. I wasn't thrilled when I first heard they would make the apes in the computer but after viewing the film I've realized this was the only way to go really. It would look incredibly cheesy if they tried to do what they did in this film with makeup. The motion capture is some of the best to date and the apes look very real. None of the makeups did as good as job as the motion capture did at creating real ape behavior and also by not making them talk I think was a smart move. I don't think making them be able to speak would make it very realistic which seems to be more of the way the film tries to go with rather than a fantasy.
The action is all mostly at the end of the film which is mostly seen in the trailers. While granted there is a little bit here and a little bit there it's all really at the end. It all is very entertaining and the apes do fight like real apes. There are moments where the filmmakers truly capture an ape aggression and what they are truly capable of. Not a lot of people know just how strong and fierce they can be and the film does a good job of showing that.
But something I don't think is mention a lot is that there a nice magical quality to it. The scene in the redwoods is a very magical scene and I really liked it and never liked how it isn't mentioned.
The acting is all very good and is a driving point of the film. James Franco is great, so are John Lithgow and Brian Cox. Also Tom Felton and David Oyelowo are good. Freida Pinto is good and all but I wish her character was given a better purpose and is one of the few faults with this film.
The Music I thought was very good too. It had a very magical yet dark and exciting feel. Composer Patrick Doyle really gives out his best score in years. It will by no means become be considered a masterpiece it just is an above the average movie score and is a score that I would buy when the soundtrack was released on CD.
The Directing by Rupert Wyatt is very good too. He handles the story written with such care. His choices in camera movements and how to properly handle the story is makes him a great choice. Also he uses cgi to better the project and only really uses it when he needs too which is something I always respected in a director these days.
The writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa have crafted a great story and pay so much tribute to the original films. There are so many nice nods to the original which Planet of the Apes fans will enjoy. They also really know how write convincing dialogue and leaves the door open for a sequel but it could be just an make you think type of ending.
The Bottom line is this is a very good story driven film that includes great special effects and matches the original and is the second best film of 2011
Final Score 9/10
- Aug 6, 2011