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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – Film Review

The ingenuity in the new film “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” resides in its possibility that the ape itself is the star of the story. Ten years ago, when Tim Burton was making his own film, the technology had not progressed far enough to encompass the range of emotions necessary to show the aspect of why the element of apes rising against the humans would make sense. What was required was a catalyst of sorts which was both affecting and enormously practical without requiring the overwhelming texture of a movie star to angle the project to its own end. The perfect storm of structured elements allowed this to happen.

James Franco who is always able to tweak an opportunity to his advantage (many times for the art of it) realized that he was not the star of the movie but in order to sell the idea of Caesar as embodied by Andy Serkis (in motion capture), he had to affectate the central core of the story to be able to pass it along to Caesar. You have to see the growth of intelligence, betrayal, empathy and eventually understanding to make this work. The paradox is that by saying too much it will ruin the story for anyone else. Suffice to say, the reasoning behind the progression of the apes having the ability to take over has nothing to do with an actual want or need, simply a survival of prescription created by man’s own ignorance. The ability of the storyline to be mythic relies on the clarity of the ideas it presents.

Seeing how the ending rolls, and the amount of information it proscribes within what the film shows, leads directly into what the next progression needs to be. One scene that defines it is the notion of a language of humans that is taught via humans that starts deductive reasoning in Caesar. Unlike the previous incarnation which dictates that the apes rebelled simply in second- hand removed settings doesn’t allow us to understand the more important reason of “why”. This narrative makes it simple and even without the major action sequence that takes place on a bridge, its power is relayed, helped also in no small part by John Lithgow who, as the father of James Franco’s character, plays a man riddled by Alzeheimer’s who shows the progression of the would- be MacGuffin that unravels and distinctifies exactly what brings about the “rise”.

The reality though is that without Andy Serkis providing a soul behind Caesar this would not work at all. He is the true movie star within this which, after Gollum and Kong, people are finally starting to get. It is not the technology (though it helps), it is the person behind it.

B+

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