Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

“Evolution Becomes Revolution”

2 Stars
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)


Director: Rupert Wyatt

Cast: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto

Synopsis: The search for a cure to Alzheimer’s inadvertently leads to the creation of a super-intelligent chimp who leads a simian uprising.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the latest attempt to revive the Apes franchise after Tim Burton’s failed attempt in 2001, is a definite improvement, even though it has the holiest of plots and is cynically designed to appeal to our inherent sense of compassion towards sad-eyed dumb animals.   It’s a little strange to find yourself rooting for the monkeys as they head for the redwoods, single-mindedly pushing aside everything in their path.   Forty years ago they’d have been tearing human limbs apart on their way, but in the touchy-feely 21st Century they’re confined to seeing off only those humans who are seen to have no compassion, thus ensuring the audience stays on board.

The film starts fairly slowly as we follow Caesar’s formative years, and follows a yawnsomely predictable path.   The makers know we’re not watching for the plot though, we’re there to see computer apes with human-like expressions that makes those chimp mouths constructed from coconut shells look just a little archaic.   Rise of the Planet of the Apes works up to a spectacular climax on the Golden Gate bridge, and sets itself up nicely for a sequel in which, presumably, much of the human race will be wiped out by the very virus that’s supposed to save us all from Alzheimers.   You can almost taste the irony…

(Reviewed 23rd January 2012)





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