Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home Video with Abe: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Capsule Review)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by Rupert Wyatt
Released August 5, 2011

Unexplained, unanticipated prequels to movie series aren’t necessarily bad. This reviewer’s first cinematic experience with highly intelligent apes was actually rather enjoyable, turning what could have been a highly silly and laughable story into an engaging and energizing one. It’s the kind of film where, appropriately enough, the humans aren’t entirely significant, and the story of the ascent of Caesar, the child of a genetically-modified ape, is what’s much more interesting. Andy Serkis continues his domination of motion capture by embodying the rather human role of Caesar, raised by the kindly Will (James Franco) before being incarcerated due to his animal instincts. The setup of this particular plot is similar to that of “I Am Legend” in its non-sci-fi sense, explaining the drug testing on apes as a way to cure Alzheimer’s disease, and tying that into Will’s storyline. The film’s most memorable moments come in its latter half when Caesar, and his legion of apes, finally do take control, as inevitably would be the case, and the effects are quite impressive. This film is entertaining while it lasts, and a good summer action flick to catch on DVD in the winter.


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