08 January 2012

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

First, a confession.  Prior to this, the only movie related to a planet full of apes that I had seen was the one that came out in 2001, that no one seems to speak of.  And if they do, its in hushed whispers as to not incur the wrath of those who despise it.  Well, second, another confession:  I like that one.  Moving on.

When I heard they were making 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes', I was intrigued.  The previews came out, and it looked pretty damn good.

Let's have a little plot synopsis, shall we?

We have Will Rodman (played by James Franco) who is a hot shot researcher, working on a cure for Alzheimer's and other assorted brain issues.  Clearly, his only motivation is his father Charles (John Lithgow) who is affected by Alzheimer's.  WIll's first test of a cure works, until the chimp he tested it on (Named Brighteyes for the flecks of green that appear in the eyes of those chimps who have received the serum) goes, ahem, ape shit and wrecks the lab.  Turns out Brighteyes had a baby chimp, lets call him Caesar, and was only acting to protect her child.  Clearly the next think to do is to bring Caesar home with him.  Will discovers that the serum moved vertically from Brighteyes to Caesar, and Caesar is one smart chimp.

Eight years later....

Being super smart, Caesar knows when an old man (Charles) is being picked on by a bully (played well by David Hewlett (McKay from Stargate: Atlantis)).  So Caesar drops in and bites off the bully's finger.

Now things get interesting.  The court orders Caesar to a chimp facility run by Brian Cox and Tom Felton (yes, Draco Malfoy (apparently Mr. Felton is getting typecast to play nasty, mean people)).  Shock!  Gasp!  Conditions are not what Will was lead to believe and we see Caesar's mis-treatment of himself and his fellow apes.  Being a super chimp, Caeser becomes the alpha, then breaks out one night, visits Will's house where Will is storing an upgraded version of the serum.  Caesar breaks back into the facility, releases the airborne serum and turns the apes into his army.  In the process, Caesar speaks!  As the silver back was about to mash Tom Felton into little pieces, Caesar clearly says 'NO!'  Whoa.

Will starts to realize what's going on, and follows the apes to the Golden Gate bridge as they run amok and the police line up to stop them.  A pretty decent battle sequence ensues.  End result:  Police - 0, Assorted primates - 1.

Will follows the group to the Muir Redwoods, where he asks Caesar to come home.  Caesar leans in, and whispers 'Caesar is home.'  Will shits his pants.

I was expecting this to be more of an ending where the primates had taken over instead of breaking out and going into hiding.  I have a feeling that there will be a sequel where the chimps finally do take over the world and such.

I liked this movie.  Even though the first bits dragged a bit, once Caesar got into the facility, it started to pick up.  Watching him take over the group was quite interesting to watch, and to see the intelligence in his eyes was... creepy.  If indeed there will be a second one, I can't wait.

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