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How it all began
Reboots and prequels often receive negative criticism as a result of expectation and not staying true to a formula. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (a mouthful of a title) addresses both factors in such a fashion that it currently stands as the film to beat this year.
The movie focuses heavily on a cure for Alzheimer's disease, which is produced by Will (James Franco) and tested on a chimpanzee. The production is all the more vital to Will as his father suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and he is not able to adhere to the patience his boss requires. After the death of his latest test subject, Will takes the infant child, Caesar, home to his father and raises him like a son. The plot is strong, filled with memorable characters that display both good and evil traits, acting selfishly for individual needs.
While the acting is first class, it is the scenes with only apes that generate the most excitement and intrigue. Caesar is played by Andy Serkis, the man responsible for Gollum and King Kong, using motion capture to bring the intelligent chimp to life. James Franco leads well, but his job is made easier with Caesar's facial expressions and mannerisms stealing the show.
Despite many scenes discussing the scientific elements of the hopeful cure, boredom is never a factor. The film moves at a fast pace, and once the apes ignite a war, all time is forgotten. With a runtime of only 108 minutes, you feel it could even go a tad longer, such is the emotional pull.
The evolution of Caesar is the highlight, as viewers watch him grow from a baby to a super smart adult, learning in ways that astonish and demonstrate how the apes eventually run the earth without humans to guide. You don't have to be a fan of the originals to enjoy this strong instalment, as the setting allows for a broader audience, not limited to a science fiction fan base.
At a time where we are inundated with superhero flicks, 3D eye poppers and raunchy romantic comedies, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is something different; a movie with substance, and final scenes that leave you thinking what if.
Much different to what I was expecting. A great story with an underlying message to sometimes leave things as they are. Offering aspects of humour, drama, action and relationships. I enjoyed this movie.