Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – 2011


Technology never fails to impress us 21st century cinema goers.
The advancement and capabilities of modern day cinematic effects are nothing short of mind-boggling.
Audiences of the past were frightened the train pulling in at the station would continue on into the theatre itself through the screen the image was being projected on.
If audiences of that time period were to witness “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, they would be running for the hills. This is one of the most visually impressive feats in cinematic history.
The technological methods utilised in creating these apes is a triumph not just for visual effects, but for cinema as an art form.

Starting from the very beginning of the popular story,“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” establishes itself as a solid and thorough representation.
Tracing events back to the life changing experiences of Caesar the chimpanzee (Andy Serkis), an ape subject to a lifetime of exploitation, experimentation and testing, the film aims to make a powerful and rigid statement regarding animal subjectivity within scientific research.
Hard hitting scenes showing unsettlement and instability amongst frustrated animals within a research centre dominate the opening of the film, and from there on it is obvious that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” aims to say a lot about numerous ethical issues.


For a story that the majority of earth’s population is fully aware of, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”offers up new and enticing sub plots and developmental aspects that are clever and well worked in to the primary story.
There are numerous links and comparisons between man and ape in terms of brain functionality, particularly seen through protagonist Dr. Will Rodman’s (James Franco’s) father Charles (John Lithgow), a severe Alzheimer’s sufferer and Caesar himself.
The poignant connection and progressive separation between Will, his father and Caesar offers a new emotional element to the already emotionally gripping narrative.
For the establishment of the greater forthcoming events, the opening to the film has been crafted excellently.

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 8.00.48 pm

Amongst the fantastic performances from Franco, Lithgow and Freida Pinto, the technologically enhanced transformation of Andy Serkis as Caesar stands above all.
With effects and minuscule details so realistic and lifelike, Serkis is able to capture the mannerisms, idiosyncrasies and gestures of an ape without fault.
To undertake the role of Caesar requires boldness, braveness and immense talent. Caesar of course, is not an average ape; he becomes increasingly humanised as he grows up an the ability of Serkis to capture strong elements of both human and beast is astonishingly believable.
Like his performance as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Serkis’ polka-dotted lycra performances are incomprehensibly stunning.

From the promotions, trailers and advertisements, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” appeared to be a forced, lazy attempt to create a prequel simply to make money.
The franchise was put in danger after Tim Burton attempted to modernise the well known story, but it now appears that it has once again been saved and set on an optimistic route after “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”.
Backstories, plot progressional decisions and character development that generates an emotional connection are three elements that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” offers up brilliantly. The devastating journey of Caeser and the unfortunate circumstances that he and Will find themselves in are touching, enraging and thought provoking to say the least.
This film is enough to make anyone pause the film and join PETA.

Apes-Old-CaesarA clean-slate approach to a franchise that needed revitalising given the poor attempts of previous years, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”offered an motional and haunting insight into animal cruelty, ethical research and the ignorance, manipulation and arrogance of man.
Hubris plays a massive part in the film and the emotional attachments between characters tends to sway as the story develops.
The score is magnificent and the technological aspects of the film are simply awe-inspiring.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” has laid the foundation for a successful and excellent franchise to come.



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