Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
3.5/5
Animal Abusers Beware

Halfway through this movie, the entire cinema I was seated in was stunned into silence, broken only by the young gentleman behind me uttering two words; “holy s***”.

While not as deep as some of the earlier titles in the series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes will definitely entertain most. Directed by Rupert Wyatt, this two hour flick uses an interesting blend of CGI and animal-centred storytelling to entertain viewers and warn of the dangers of animal abuse as well as animal testing.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes begins with scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s, a quest that has become personal as his father, Charles Rodman (John Lithgow) suffers from it. Rodman and his team employ the use of chimpanzees to test their serums. When their star chimpanzee goes on a rampage, the reset button is hit on the project. The cause of the rampage – a young newly-born baby chimpanze that Will’s managers know nothing off. Named Caesar by the senior Rodman, Caesar soon starts displaying increased intelligence and mental acuity, a genetic trait that resulted from his mother being injected with the serum. Things get out of hand when Caesar defends Charles from a violent neighbour, and gets tossed into an animal shelter with abusive staff. Having little choice, Caesar embraces both his wild side as well as his natural intelligence to escape from the facility and cut a violent swath for freedom.

At the end of the day, some viewers may be put off by the fact that the protagonists are an orang-utan, a chimpanzee and a gorilla. Additionally, the build-up to the climactic scene, the one that silenced the entire cinema is somewhat dull. On a positive note, the movie is entertaining. The CGI used in the movie is developed by the same team that brought the blockbuster Avatar. Additionally, fans of Gollum will be in a treat, as his voice actor, Andy Serkis, does his thing and I daresay goes beyond his performance seen in the Lord of the Ring movies. So unless you have a home sound system that is superior to that of most cinemas – mainly for the climactic scene  and the battle at the Golden Gate Bridge – you definitely want to catch this one in cinemas while its out.

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