For all those who are looking for a Planet of the Apes that is close to the original one, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is not the film for you. For a title that implies a sequel is in the making, perhaps director/writer Rupert Wyatt can improve his style and make a film that is not rushed, highly unrealistic and lacking proper character development, not to mention a meaningless love story.
Similar to what was done with movies like Star Trek and the newer versions of Star Wars, the film has become much more technological and complicated.
Not only does the CGI animation make the film more complicated, but it also deludes the plot. It seems that more concentrated was placed on the special effects rather than the fundamentals of a good movie: characters and plot.
To make the matter even worse, Wyatt uses good actors such as James Franco (“127 Hours, “Spider-Man”), Brian Cox (“Super Troopers”), John Lithgow (“Cliffhanger” and “3rd Rock from the Sun”) and voices done by Andy Serkis (“the Lord of the Rings Trilogy”).
James Franco stars as the pharmaceutical scientist, Will Rodman, who has developed an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. With his father in mind (Lithgow), who is suffering from the diminutive disease, uses Chimpanzees as test subjects. With usual spikes in the chimp’s intelligence and the fact that they have developed sign-language communication, Rodman felt the drug was ready for human trials.
When that was denied, after a test animal becomes violent and rampages throughout the company headquarters, Rodman takes matters into his own hands and administers the drug on his father. Before Will tests the experimental drug on his father, he is forever changed when he finds a helpless baby chimp and decides to take it home and look after till he can decide what to do.
As seen in many other movies, his decision was postponed for days, to weeks and even to years. Similar to the emotional attachment with raising a kid, Will eventually acts like a father figure and even becomes close to another doctor name Caroline (Frieda Pinto).
For all those wanted to see a romance story, your dream has come true. For men looking for an attractive woman, who apart from being shallow, has no relevance to story – except to look good- you are also in luck. The lack of romance and depth to the relationship, even though the film is PG-13, only proves that the chimp animation was more of a priority than the story was. Not only do we see Caroline as an underwritten character, but James Franco’s character was also lacking essence.
Apart from Caroline’s character being severely underdeveloped and useless, the character played by “Harry Potter’s” Tom Felton, did have a purpose and he proved to be good at it. Playing the keeper in a violent animal facility, Felton is deliberately cruel to his chimps and forces them to not only hate humans but to also escape.
What is most ironic about this film is that the Chimps seem to have more intelligence than the humans in the story. Not only do the apes always know where they are going, but they can successfully disarm a SWAT team and escape a flaming helicopter on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Apart from James Bond, these apes have managed to dodge even the worst forms of danger.
The last 20 minutes of the film, although containing material that is far more unrealistic, does show some decent animation and epic fight sequences. Although not comparable to the end scene of the original 1968 version of Planet of the Apes, it does prove to be food for thought.