If you’re looking to compare 1968’s “Planet of the Apes” with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” don’t even bother. The former from 43 years ago is a crowning achievement of the Science Fiction genre. Astronauts from Earth crash land on a planet ruled by apes.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set in present day San Francisco. Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who’s desperately scrambling to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease through genetic therapy. The experimental drugs are used on chimp apes & gorillas.
People will remember this movie for Ceasar (Andy Serkis). The motion capture performance by Serkis adds a dimension of reality never before seen in a film. This chimp shows every emotion from sorrow, happiness, fear & of course rage. Extremely well done special effects by WETA.
The tone of this film is dark & grows darker with each act. There’s a spotlight on animal cruelty which automatically puts you on the sides of the apes. The abuse is simply captivity. These beasts should be in the wild & not locked up in rusty cages. As the movie progresses, the friction between humans & apes escalates.
As you see in the movie’s trailer, the apes escape, revolt & run rampant through the streets of San Francisco. The movie is thought-provoking & well made. It is worth seeing. But for me personally, I prefer the Charlton Heston version.
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To heighten drama, medical advances are catapulted forward at lightning speed. Crucial steps are missed & experimental drugs fall prey to corporate greed.