The apes have risen


By: Sean Collado

Apes are related to humans, though in our arrogance we choose to ignore that fact and believe we are smarter and more advanced than apes. Truth be told apes are smart in ways we don’t fully understand quite yet. Some can speak through sign language, others can show compassion like the story of the young child who fell in the gorilla pen and a female gorilla protected him until help came. Apes should not be underestimated. This is clearly the case in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the modern day prequel reboot to the Planet of the Apes series.

Scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) has been trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by testing a new drug on chimpanzees, which results in Caesar (acted by Andy Serkis), a genetically advanced chimp with gifted intelligence. As time passes on, Caesar is soon moved to a chimpanzee shelter where he meets other apes. The sight of human cruelty to the apes leads to Caesar to begin the eventual ape revolution.

This is one of the best movies to be released in the summer/fall line-up. A clever story with a good script makes this an exciting film. But it can only go so far unless it has actors that can create characters that can show real emotion to an image that isn’t there in real life. Fortunately, this film does have those actors. James Franco was by far an excellent choice for this film as it allows him to show his acting talent and create a character that’s determined and caring at the same time. David Oyelowo, who plays Will’s boss Jacobs, acts the usual cooperate boss that wants results now and save money; he brings no real special quality to his role. John Lithgow, who plays Will’s father, and David Hewlett, who plays the neighbor, are also good choices for the film.

The visual effects are fantastic and make the apes nearly life-like; there are no actors in any ape costumes. The music fits in well for this movie as it helps to build the tone. And the sequences during Caesar’s stay in the chimp shelter create a feeling of sympathy for Caesar as he witnesses the cruelty of the caretakers. These moments force the audience to feel for Caesar and to understand his character more when he’s not with Will. And above all, the classic Apes line, “Get your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape,” is perfectly used in the film.

Overall, this is a film worth paying ten dollars to see in the theater. Diehard fans of the Apes series will love this movie and others will enjoy the ride. Rise of the Planet of the Apes gets 4 stars out of 5. If this is the start of a new Apes series, I personally look forward to how the story of Caesar will continue.