Every once in a while a reboot can surprise you. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the reboot of the 1968 classic, is an amazing example. I feel like altering my original article from 2011, as an act of celebration. Directed by Rupert Wyatt and produced by Peter Cherin, the movie was nominated an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and you should see how real these apes look.
After a five year research on apes, a scientist named Will (James Franco) discovers a mother ape with the perfect I.Q. After she gets put down, Will and his partner (Tyler Labine) discover her infant son Caeser (the versatile Andy Serkis), who got a double doss of his mother’s genetics. Will takes home both Caesar and the ape drugs to try to cure his ill father (John Lithgow), but he also develops a tender relationship with Caesar.
The drama begins after Caeser attacks Will’s next-door neighbor, and is taken to a primate facility with the worst hospitality. As Will struggles to free him, Caeser manages to steal the drugs giving all the imprisoned apes his DNA. Thus, Caeser leads the apes to take refuge at the Muir Woods National Monument, even if it means giving humans a taste of their own bananas.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is both a suspenseful and entertaining movie. I give a lot of credit to Andy Serkis, who showed me the same “King Kong” and “The Lord of the Rings” magic with his disposition, rogue antics, and humor that drove audiences bananas. James Franco also did a great job in this film, and I told him he is a brave actor for taking on roles like this (“Pineapple Express,” “127 Hours,” etc.). My mind was blown off like a gun to a watermelon just watching this whole movie.
Playing at AMC Theaters on Wednesday July 12 as part of a Triple Feature