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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Reviews

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Red L

Super Reviewer

February 23, 2014
I didn't realize until I read other reviews that the apes were not real. The story is interesting, the special effects amazing.

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2011
Caesar the chimpanzee is the genetically altered product of medical research and when he becomes the victim of the mistreatment afforded to all research animals he uses his superior intelligence to escape captivity. Well it seems that finally, after 43 years, the classic Planet Of The Apes has a worthy sequel! The latest instalment of the simian franchise takes the basic principle of the well meaning but weakly executed Conquest and combines it with elements of Greystoke to create an interesting animal orientated character study of a creature that's neither man nor ape. Once again Andy Sirkis proves his incredible skill in breathing life into animated creations and although the cast of homo sapiens acquit themselves admirably, they all take a back seat to man's best computer generated friend. It's also very nice to see a film in which the special effects actually facilitate the story instead of replacing it and as a result, Rise is one of the most intelligent and best sci-fis of recent years. I hope that this is a sign of things to come. Well, not the apes taking over the world bit, obviously...
Jason R

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2011
Just not a fan of watching the world coming to an end. Also, I was always cheering for the humans.
Matthew Samuel M

Super Reviewer

March 22, 2013
A solid action film, but mostly unmemorable.

Super Reviewer

January 21, 2013
Eugene B

Super Reviewer

January 4, 2013
Rupert Wyatt directs a mesmerizing prequel to the acclaimed franchise. The groundbreaking special effects and Andy Serkis' portrayal of the evolving 'Caesar' mixes and provides a grand spectacle that has revived this series. 4/5
Louis R

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2012
The best showcase of special effects and motion capture technology since Peter Jackson's Kong, and again it features Andy Serkis (the go-to motion capture actor, and for good reason) as an ape. The best moments in the film- the most touching, dramatic and memorable- are those between apes, unavoidably brushing the human relationships to one side, leaving them a little wan and wanting. That said, they provide a very solid framework for the story, which is both memorable and suitably epic.

Super Reviewer

September 2, 2012
I really wanted to enjoy this "prequel" to the 1968 Charlton Hesston film, as that original film, seen when I was 12, made a huge impression on me; but try as I might, and in spite of some nice moments during the first half of the film, this one left me shaking my head over what could have been.

There is a certain shorthand to filmmaking; a way in which a certain character is portrayed so that you know instantly, without much dialog, who that person is and how he plays into the script. The secret to a good film is masking this shorthand so that, while we understand what we need to know we aren't hit over the head with the signs and portents. Sadly, the shorthand is all too obvious here - from the money grabbing company exec to the "bad example of humanity" dude who mistreats the apes in his charge. We've seen it all before and yes it gets the point across, but you get the feeling that the writers were taking that easy shortcut. Same thing with the female/love interest - a totally superfluous part that only adds irritation - boy meets girl, boy of course has relationship with girl - all film shorthand.

But then there's the real story - that of an experiment that goes sideways, leading to apes with increased intelligence. I'm not going to reveal all that goes on, but I will say that this part of the film is true and realistic, and the CGI, especially where it involves Gollum is well done, it's just unfortunate that the film spins off the rails in the last 3rd, becoming the huge spectacle that I'm sure the studio bosses asked for. Too bad, for there was a nice little morality tale before all the violence and confrontation, and frankly, a quite silly ending where the hero (a luke warm Franco) follows the apes to Muir Woods (ok kiddies, I grew up in SF, and hey, it's like a 30 minute drive from GG Bridge to Muir Woods), just so there can be this odd moment that sets up a really bad bit of CGI (not that there wasn't bad CGI from the point that the film switched gears and went all battlemania on us).

It was a nice touch that the action took place in and around SF, but there were quite a few liberties taken as well as a huge gaff in the continuity department. The young ape, Caesar, has a birthmark on his left shoulder - for the last half of the film that birthmark is on his right shoulder - oopsy.

I did enjoy the dovetailing reverences to the original film (including calling one ape "bright eyes"), however the film never resolves the issue presented in the first film, where all the buildings are gone except for the statue of liberty, which is now across dry land instead of in the middle of the New York waterway - so, while explaining much of what "could have happened", they chose to ignore this one, as there was no way to make the post apocryphal message of the first film fit into this genetic engineering gone bad premise.
Adriel L

Super Reviewer

May 26, 2012
Intelligent as good science-fiction films go, but leaves nothing that hasn't been seen, nothing new here.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2011
A very good film which acts as a prequel to the original films. Good cgi and SFX overall, plenty of action but also with plenty of depth to the characters and story. It has some nice touches that link it with the other films to. Better than I expected.

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2012
three stars
Albert K

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2011
A very entertaining B-movie about a wimp ape that goes gangster. Entertaining with great looking CGI.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2011
With the exception of the unintentional humor the apes bring, the entertainment level for RISE is just fine. It's the low fidelity this heeds to its original from 43 years before that makes it such a confusing movie. Yes, believe it or not, it has been that many years, and this is an attempt to provide a backstory to the original from that long ago. With the strictly urban setting, the overflow of action sequences and special effects, and the overwhelming sense of futurism, RISE is 110% 2011, and it bears not the slightest bit of possibility that it could have been made similarly just shortly after the original film. Okay, maybe the film's decency rose when HARRY POTTER's Tom Felton delivered possibly the most memorable line in all animal movie history, that has been featured in just about every APES movie since the very first. Had that line not been delivered and the title not included the series' name, it'd be very hard to tell that this had any relation to the classic it precedes. (Where is Charlton Heston when we need him???)

Note: The title is RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Why not just add another "of the" statement and make yourselves sound completely unprofessional?

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2012
I love it! Makes sense. We're far from it and it's not that I think this could be possible, but as a science fiction lover it fullfill my expectations. Andy Serkis still the favorite monkey of Hollywood. But his acting is superb. Cesar. The start of everything. While James Franco is looking to regenerate neurons to cure Alzheimer, the experiments with apes goes beyond his expectations. Amazing FX a very good story and directing.

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2011
What could have been just a shallow, shameless, and cheap attempt to cash in by using a name brand is instead a rather smart, thoughtful, and really impressive piece of work. This film is a prequel to the classic Planet of the Apes, but also borrows bits from other films in the series, and manages ultimately to also be its own thing.

Will Rodman is a researcher working towards a cure for Alzheimer's disease. While it does help human test subjects, the effect it has on primates is utterly remarkable, leading to some really unexpected developments. When circumstances get out of hand, Will finds himself the adopted father of a baby chimp called Caesar who, thanks to exposure to the experimental drug, begins to evolve at an accelerated rate and develop a vast sense of intelligence.

After a misunderstanding, Caesar is taken away and imprisoned in a primate sanctuary run by some ruthless and cruel humans who display no regard for the well being of the animals. Thanks to his intelligence, Caesar begins to form a rebellion which, given the film's title, though not surprising, is really exciting and well done.

Given the reputation of the three sequels to the original, and how people feel about the Tim Burton remake, I was a little iffy on this one at first. As I started to hear more about it, and see some footage, I started to change my mind, but decided to remain open-minded and wait until finally seeing it before giving a full judgment call.

Now that I have seen it, I must say, I am quite impressed. Storywise, this isn't groundbreaking, but it is really well done and pretty compelling at times. I was surprised by how much I found myself emotionally involved and connected to the characters, mostly the non-human ones. With the visuals and effects though, this is where the film is really brilliant. The motion capture effects and the way the CG is used is quite cutting edge, and the results are remarkably realistic and mind blowing. Thanks to the superb performance by the unseen Andy Serkis, Caesar is really brought to life and is a real character instead of just a visual effect. That I got emotionall stirred by a special effect the way I did really says something. Hell, the humans are the least identifiable and hardest to care for (for the most part) characters.

I love Franco, but I don't know if he was right for this. He's okay though, but not really that great. The characters played by Brian Cox but especially Tom Felton didn't surprise me in terms of where they fit into things, but they both do fine. Lithgow is good, but the weakest link here is Pinto, who isn't given anything interesting to do, and doesn't bring much to the table.

The drama is compelling, and, as I said, this is a pretty smart and thoughtful affair. There's tons of references and Easter eggs, most of which are fine, but there are two big thigns that really bug me, and that's what's really keeping me from giving this the extra half star it deserves. The first is the use of a line, rather THE line, the most famous quote from the original film. First off, why? Was it just for recognition purposes, or did they feel they couldn't make the film without it? Whatever the case, I could have done without it, mostly because I felt it was forced in. Not only that, but right after it comes a major payoff, and probably the most important moment in the film, a moment that is lessened because of how the line is used and the fact that it kind of made me groan whe nit was said. The other big issue was the end. Not how the story ended, but the fact that a really important scene plays a bit after the end credits started rolling. I think they should have just had that scene right before the credits instead. Also, the pacing felt rather uneven overall. There's some great build up and development, but then the final act feels really rushed, and this problem could have been fixed by either increasing the film's running time, or not charging to the conclusion, leaving a bit more for a sequel or something.

All of that aside, this was a fantastic film. It looks incredible, the effects are top notch, the action is great, and this was overall a hell of a lot better than I think anyone could have anticipated, and that's definitely a great thing.

Definitely give this one a watch, because it's awesome.
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

February 29, 2012
When I heard that there was a prequel to 'Planet of the Apes', I thought of poor version by Tim Burton. However, this is a prequel to the classic 1968 film, and let me tell you, its the best prequel to a film since...ever.

For those who are fans of the original film, there will several references to the original film,which most will recognise. However, those who haven't watch the original, and thought that this was good, I recommend going home and watching it.

I personally thought that the visual effects for this film were stunning, espescially the motion capture from Andy Serkis, who is known for his roles of Gollum in 'Lord of the Rings' and Kong in 'King Kong'.

With great links to the original, visual effects and story, 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' was close to an essential in 2011.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 20, 2012
To be honest, the old PG Tips adverts with the Chimps drinking tea on a loop for 2 hours would have been a better inclusion to the franchise than Tim Burtons effort, so Rise of the Planet of the Apes had a bit of slack to work with but, to it's credit, it was pretty good. It's not as good as the original and I don't think it was as good as the third film which, I love, but has been ignored - it being the only part of the story it decided to side-step away from, Ceaser is the son of Cornelius, not sure why they went to the effort of having the news coverage of the Mars spaceflight in the background to link with the first film if they didn't continue the whole story but that said, if they do another and avoid the Beneath the Planet of the apes storyline, we'll call it quits. It is essentially a blockbuster, everything is a little bit rushed to fit into the 2 hours but it's good fun, is exciting and is a little bit more intelligent than your average summer blockbuster. It fits into the franchise quite well and although the CGI wasn't always great, I hope they make more.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

February 19, 2012
Brain: off. O.K., on with the movie. Every line of dialogue was clichéd and, as always, the cartoonishly evil nature of the apes is hard to buy into, but the film is nevertheless a plausible origin story. The Planet of the Apes franchise, at its core, was most important not for what it said about apes so much as what it purported to say about humans. And though the rise of the apes is a result of over-ambitious human technological development, the shock value has long ago worn off, and the effect just isn't there anymore. Hey, wait a minute, I thought I was turning my brain off! Lots of action, somewhat fun, a little suspenseful: just go with it, it's better than Just Go With It.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

September 20, 2011
A great follow up on the previous films which fully takes the story and expands it in a believable world. Great performances by all involved (although it took a while to shake the memory of Lithgow as a Dexter villain) and it gives a clear view of the reasons why each character is doing what they are. Brilliantly done by Serkis once again and Felton's accent was actually believable. I especially loved the little ending snippet suggesting the spread of the disease.
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