Here is one I wrote in the summer, enjoy!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the now familiar story of man playing god, ignoring all warning signs and messing about in the gene pool. Will Rodman (James Franco) is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, a disease with which his father suffers. Will’s father (played by John Lithgow), a once beloved music teacher has now been reduced to rubble by this cruel disease. Will’s experimentation culminates in the birth of Caeser, a super smart adorable chimp. When Will brings Caeser home to foster him, he is astounded by Caeser’s mental capacity. Things become complicated when Caeser’s sense of independence and rights become more developed and he begins to act out.
The story centered around Caeser (whose movements and facial expressions are brilliantly performed by the fabulous Andy Serkis) is the film’s strongest feature. Caeser is a tragic character caught between two worlds and frustrated at his status as an outsider. His tale is emotionally compelling and exhilarating when he gains the courage to lead. The crowning gem of the movie is Caeser and his fellow apes flight for freedom.
The other half of the film, however, which focuses on Franco’s conflicted emotions as a son and scientist feels half baked in comparison. Rather than fully shape this story, the actors and issues presented are squandered in melodramatic plot turns that are far too sappy to become anything bearing emotional importance to the audience. John Lithgow turns in a particularly overdone performance and Freida Pinto is wasted in an underdeveloped role which evolves into nothing more than her being the film’s token female character. Overall, I thought the script and the onscreen confrontations were childish. Things just don’t add up. Several questions come to mind: I get that these apes are super smart but how does that also make them tactical battle aficionado’s? What gives them all the ability to throw javelins and slings with deadly accuracy? Are these not learned skills? Maybe logical consistency is asking too much. Although the action was fun and Caeser’s story is engrossing, I don’t feel like there was much else there. If you are a big fan of the Planet of the Apes series it would be worth checking this out. Other than that, I’d give it a pass until it hits the small screen.