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The Bitter gets our damned, stinking dirty paws all over Rise of the Planet of the Apes!!!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2011Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverRupert WyattJames Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida PintoPierre Boulle (novel Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Rise of the Planet of the Apes(2011)
 

The Summer of 2011 says sayonara with another prequel in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” “Rise” follows the storyline of the original series (with some astute references to the Charlton Heston classic), detailing how the apes enhanced cognitive thought, their subsequent fight for freedom, and the beginning of humanity’s fall. Set in modern day San Francisco, Will (James Franco) is a young scientist who zealously strives to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease that plagues his father Charles (John Lithgow). Experimenting on Chimpanzees, Will’s project takes a dire turn when one the test subjects, Bright Eyes, wrecks havoc in the laboratory. Told to shut down by money-hungry CEO Jacobs (David Oyelowo), Will finds out that Bright Eyes was pregnant. Taking the newborn chimp under his wing, Will realizes the infant is endowed with intellect never seen in a primate.

Keeping it at home without his employer’s knowledge, Will becomes a father figure for the chimp, which he names Caesar (Andy Serkis). The genetic phenomenon that is Caesar helps Will treat his father successfully, while his care for it lands the scientist the affections of Caroline (Freida Pinto). As Will’s goals appear close to fruition, Caesar’s maturity sees it exposed to the nastier aspects of humanity. Outgrowing Will’s ability to contain it, Caesar is left in the care of Landon (Brian Cox). Hospitable at first, Caesar soon finds itself trapped inside a cage and mistreated by Landon’s son Dodge (Tom Felton).

As Will ‘s serum plateaus, forcing him to develop a stronger treatment, Caesar comes to terms with its nature, forges bonds with fellow primates, and ultimately overthrows Landon’s compound. As the Apes raise mayhem on the Golden Gate Bridge, Will attempts to control the chaos while trying to save Caesar from Jacobs.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a surprisingly good movie, a film that channels the brooding themes of social strife and intolerance that prevailed in the original series. The movie also benefits from our era’s technological gifts, bringing the fluidity of movement to the simians that were simply unavailable for its 60’s and 70’s predecessors (and the filmmakers make you know it, every tree-climbing moment possible). But the strongest asset for “Rise” is the great Andy Serkis giving life to another CGI masterpiece of a character in Caesar. As he did twice for Peter Jackson as Gollum and King Kong, Caesar takes over the film’s emotional core as an animal whose search for identity amidst overbearing cruelty is one of the best performances that any movie will feature this year. Serkis might be the Claude Rains of our time.

However, this “Apes” adventure does have several blemishes: for as decent a script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, combined with a strong directing effort by Rupert Wyatt, “Rise” tends to stall at points with repetitive motifs (stop swinging on tree already, Caesar) and the lack of character development sans for its main monkey (I said it, and it feels gooooood). For the exception of another great actor, John Lithgow, bringing grace to a dying man in Charles, the rest of the characters are egregiously one dimensional.

James Franco’s performance of Will lacks definition, leaving the human lead in the air. Freida Pinto is left to just stand by her man when things go apeshit. Solid character actors like Bryan Cox and David Oyelowo steer their one note villains as best they can, while that Draco kid, oddly channeling 80’s lanky blonde douche Robert Prescott, makes us wish Voldemont would’ve drowned him in pumpkin ale. Maybe the filmmakers wanted us to connect with the despair and ultimate triumph of the heroic primate so badly that it might’ve left the rest to slip on a banana peel. Nonetheless, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” shortcomings don’t stop it from being an entertaining sci-fi film and more so, leave the memory of the reviled Tim Burton reboot lost in the jungle.

Trailer:

Official website:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Pics:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes2011Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverRupert WyattJames Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida PintoPierre Boulle (novel   Rise of the Planet of the Apes2011Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverRupert WyattJames Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida PintoPierre Boulle (novel   Rise of the Planet of the Apes2011Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverRupert WyattJames Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida PintoPierre Boulle (novel   Rise of the Planet of the Apes2011Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverRupert WyattJames Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida PintoPierre Boulle (novel   Rise of the Planet of the Apes2011Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverRupert WyattJames Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida PintoPierre Boulle (novel  

Credits:
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Written by: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Based on work(s) by: Pierre Boulle (novel "La planète des singes")
Cast: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto


Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

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