Released:August 5, 2011
Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
This movie was directed by Rupert Wyatt, whose only previous feature length film was The Escapist (2008). The movie was written by the duo of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, which was loosely based on the french novel written by Pierre Boulle.
The cast of this movie included Andy Serkis as Caesar, Karin Konoval as Maurice / Court Clerk, Terry Notary as Rocket / Bright Eyes, Richard Ridings as Buck, Christopher Gordon as Koba, Devyn Dalton as Cornelia, James Franco as Will Rodman, Freida Pinto as Caroline Aranha, John Lithgow as Charles Rodman, Brian Cox as John Landon, Tom Felton as Dodge Landon, Tyler Labine as Robert Franklin, Jamie Harris as Rodney, and David Oyelowo as Steven Jacobs.
“This movie outlines the beginning of Caesar’s life, and his rise into legend. Caesar gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug’s creator, Will Rodman and a primatologist Caroline Aranha, Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned in an ape sanctuary in San Bruno. Seeking justice for his fellow inmates, Caesar gives them the same drug that he inherited. He then assembles a simian army and escapes the sanctuary – putting Man and Ape on a collision course that would change the planet forever.”
Andy Serkis proves once again that he’s the motion – capture King, after his portrayals of Smeagol / Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Kong in King Kong (2005), he brings the character of Caesar to life, in a magnificent way. The character is a testament to both his ability as an actor and the amazing work done by Weta Digital. The music enhanced the movie, while not being noticeable. The cinematography was well executed and the movie was made to set up a series of sequels, while being able to stand on its own at the same time.
I enjoyed the sociological themes that Caesar uses to gather the support of the other Apes (briefly explored below). He then uses psychological tactics (briefly explored below) to gain the ‘love’ of his fellow Apes.
There was also a lot of emotional themes between the father and sons depicted in this movie. Will is doing everything that he can, even subjecting his father to an experimental drug to try and save him, and to cure his alzheimer’s. The caring that Will has for Caesar, whom he chooses to keep and to teach him because he’s inherited the ALZ-112 from his mother, and they grow closer together, and Caesar learns something that affects the entire series, that Humans are capable of love and can be kind towards Apes.
You also see a different side of the father / son relationship between the Landons, where the father ‘probably’ sees his son as an employee rather than a son, in the scenes that are depicted in the movie. There’s no caring or love shown between the two, and going off of that, Felton’s character is more of a bully towards those he sees as beneath him (not much different than the early Malfoy in the Harry Potter series).
Some of the plot decisions didn’t make sense in a real world capacity. The acting was all over the place, with some scenes being really well done, and others not so great. The acting problems wasn’t on only one person, but was a mixed bag with most of the human cast.
He takes down the ‘leader’ of the Apes in the sanctuary after being picked on for wearing Human clothes, and for being the newbie. Caesar knows that one Ape alone is ‘weak’, but many Apes together are ‘strong’ (using an analogy from a previous iteration of the Planet of the Apes).
The sense of wanting to know where he stands with Will, and asking if he’s a pet when he sees a dog with a leach, and understands that he’s also wearing one was wonderfully executed.
The psychological tactics that Caesar employs to gain the ‘love’ of his fellow Apes, is by rewarding them with cookies, and making the old ‘leader’ hand them out, which I thought was genius. Making your enemy your friend is the biggest change a character can do.
Some of Franco’s scenes were great, while others it just seemed wooden, The same could be said about Cox and Felton, who I’m a huge fan of. Those are specific actors that I’m mentioning not because they were the only ones, but the most noticeable in there bad scenes. The nonchalant way that the situation with the mask being knocked off starting the spread of the virus. The whole premise is possible, but some people will find it stupid, and nonsensical.
The ending with Caesar declaring to Will that he is home, really amplifies the journey that Caesar has taken in this movie. There’s a post credit scene that displays a pilot infected with the ALZ-113 virus spreading it throughout the world, leading to a massive death toll due to that cause, and sets up the next movie.
Spoilers Are Done!!
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, and the direction that this movie took over the previous iterations of this story. The CGI and motion capture were a new step forward in that domain, and Andy Serkis is leading the charge in furthering the style. The music was well done, as was the cinematography. The movie’s premise, the way that the virus started (mask getting knocked off), and the some of the acting would be my only negatives about this movie as a whole. In the end, I give this film a score of 7.75/10
What did you think of the movie? Movies are very subjective, and some people will disagree with me. I would love to hear those opinion either way.
What would you have graded it? What was your favourite part of the movie? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!! What movie should I review next?
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this review, I hope you enjoyed the movie!
I posted a review for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which is linked here.
I posted a review for War for the Planet of the Apes, which is linked here.