Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Posted by on August 7, 2011

Whether or not you were a fan of the original, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a prequel that is well worth your time.  It is a smart story that logically (within reason), explains how the world could be run by apes.  While James Franco is the main human in the movie, make no mistake about it:  The lead is the chimp.  While I’m not generally a fan of CGI, it works here, arguably better than in any other film to date.  Caesar, the lead chimp, is digitally created so masterfully, you fully believe he is a real, albeit intelligent, chimp.  Honestly, the movie works best when the humans get out of the way and the apes are front and center.

The film does bog down a bit early on with a lot of semi-boring scenes of Caesar growing up in his human household.  During those moments it feels a bit like Harry and the Hendersons. And speaking of Harry and the Hendersons, John Lithgow turns in a brilliantly touching performance as Franco’s alzheimer stricken father.

There is nothing really campy about this movie, as there was with the original series.  Nor is it unforgettable like the re-make a couple of years back with Marky Mark.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes is its own movie, and it is really quite good.

Final Grade:  B+


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