By Wand Agency
http://www.innovativecommunications.tv Hey hey, they're the monkees-and they're not fooling around. I'm Keith Kelly. My review of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" coming up right now.
It all started way back in 1968-the first of several Planet of the Apes films where the primates were at the top of the pecking order. The make-up effects were groundbreaking for its day, and even won an Oscar.
Jump ahead past 4 decreasingly effective sequels to Tim Burton's remake in 2001. All I can say about that one is Mark Wahlberg was no Charleton Heston.
So now we've got a brand new entry-a reboot of sorts to the whole saga, set in modern times-not the far future. Only this time we don't have people wearing prosthetic make-up. All of the various types of chimps, gorillas and orangutans are computer generated.
Caeser is the lead ape in this one, and is played with incredible pathos by Andy Serkis-who acted out the whole part wearing sophisticated motion-control gear. He did similar simian duty with another harry character-King Kong, and is probably most famous as Gollum from Lord of the Rings. His performance is key to the success of this surprisingly good film.
The story is nothing special-good guy scientist James Franco is working on a cure for Alzheimer's, spurred on by his dad who is affected by the disease. The test subjects are chimps, and little genius baby Caeser is the accidental outcome. The good guys all have hearts of gold, and the bad guys are all heartless bastards. The main theme is yet another variation on "don't fool around with mother nature." But the strength of Serkis's role as Caeser lifts this film above most of the other entries in the series-and many of the movies so far this summer. You really feel for the chimp, as he struggles with his outsider status and growing intelligence-not human, yet more than ape.
All of the actors, including Freida Pinto as the love interest, John Lithgow as the dad, Brian Cox and Tom Felton as a couple of the baddies, put in decent performances-hampered only by the limitations of the script.
If you're a fan of the series, I think you're really going to enjoy this one. But even if you've never seen any of them-or the TV series, or the cartoons, or the comic books-you're still good, and you might find yourself shedding a tear or two over Caeser's treatment, which makes the ape versus human action scenes even more exciting and plausible.
I give "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", directed with lots of emotion by Rupert Wyatt, a grade of "B+". I'm Keith Kelly.
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