I'll Be Lord One Day
I have to admit I wasn't really that keen on this film given how the original series had started off very brightly, only for it to fizzle off as more films got added into the franchise. Then came Tim Burton with a remake of the first film, and now Rupert Wyatt's film in rebooting everything in what would be Hollywood's recent trend. But I was surprised at the final product being extremely well made with all important emotional cores to hook you into the storyline, making you feel for the characters - the primates that is - and to reflect upon the evilness and aggression of mankind, that you'll be left rooting for the apes once the second half of the film kicks into high gear.
Granted there are cinematic cliches here and plot conveniences used to move the narrative forward, but these are compensated by the charismatic presence of James Franco as the protagonist and culprit behind the spawning of a new intelligent primate race no thanks to his research, eagerness and carelessness in wanting to cure his father (John Lithgow, long time no see) of Alzheimer's. Breaking protocols in adopting his experimental subject christened Caesar and then experimenting on his own without safety nets, it's the desperation and the greed of corporations combined to give rise to what would be the baseline scenario on which further Ape films, if any, could build upon.
Watch out too for the plenty of easter eggs featured from the Ape mythos being incorporated into scenes here, and of course the very fluid and well done special effects from motion capture (Can Andy Serkis be officially recognized as the granddaddy who played the most roles using this technique) to the kinetic movement of the camera to make this one heck of a ride from start to finish. Nothing too fancy in the film, but it all worked. Highly recommended!
You can read my review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.