Scientist James Franco, in trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, experiments on a chimpanzee and develops a strain of virus that repairs damaged brain cells and also boosts intelligence in apes. The medicine makes Caesar, an ape, super-intelligent. But when Caesar is forced to stay with his kind, he realises that apes will have to rise against humans. Read the review of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes for more.
Business rating: 1.5/5 stars
Star cast: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, Tyler Labine.
What’s Good: The build-up of the story; Caesar’s transformation from ape to super-intelligent ape; the visual effects.
What’s Bad: The violent apes might put some viewers off.
Verdict: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is a fare that will excite fans of science-fiction films only.
Loo break: Anytime in the first half.
Watch or not?: Watch if you like a sci-fi thriller and can bear the noisy screeching apes.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Chernin Entertainment’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes starts off with scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) and his research for the cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Will develops a strain of virus that repairs brain cells and can potentially bring a wave of change in the cure of mental illnesses. Unfortunately, Will’s subject – a female ape – turns violent and disrupts his company’s board meeting. So, while his project gets cancelled, Will discovers that the female ape had reacted violently because she was trying to protect her son. Secretly, Will takes the little ape – named Caesar – home and looks after him. He then discovers that the medicine he had injected Caesar’s mother with, has been transferred to Caesar, and the resulting genetic mutation has exponentially increased the little one’s intelligence.
Confident about the positive effects of his medicine, Will injects his ailing father, Charles Rodman (John Lithgow), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, with the same strain of virus. His father’s condition radically improves overnight. Years pass by and Caesar’s intelligence and skills continue to surpass those of a human of his age. However, Will’s father soon shows signs of rapid mental degradation and ends up getting into trouble with the neighbours. In an attempt to protect Charles, Caesar attacks the neighbours. However, Will is unable to do anything when the authorities lock up Caesar in an animal shelter. Caesar suffocates in the claustrophobic surroundings in the animal shelter and gets bullied by the other apes and the shelter caretaker’s cruel son, Dodge Landon (Tom Felton).
While Caesar hopes and pines for Will to rescue him, Will is fighting a losing battle with his father’s disease. He soon develops a strain of virus that is stronger than the previous one and begins testing it on another ape. Meanwhile, stuck inside the shelter, Caesar loses hope of Will ever rescuing him. He then starts using his superior intelligence to dominate the apes. He soon realises that the apes need to be smarter if they are to escape. One night, he sneaks out of the shelter and steals Will’s new medicine and administers it to all the animals in the shelter.
Does Caesar finally manage to escape from the shelter along with the other apes? Will the new strain of virus make the apes smarter than the humans? Will the apes rule over humans with their newfound intelligence? Has Will finally found a cure to the debilitating mental illnesses of humans? The final outcome of this plays out in the second half.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Review – Script Analysis
The story of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is based on the novel, La Planete Des Singes by Pierre Boulle. Writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have done a good job of adapting the story to modern times. They have adeptly woven Caesar’s background and Will’s guilt to show how it forges a strong bond between them. Sequences of Caesar’s initial defeat inside the animal shelter and his gradual victory are also well-scripted.
The climax of the confrontation between the apes and humans may disappoint some viewers, in spite of an interesting twist in the end. Also, the fact that the apes are ferocious monsters in the latter part of the story may not go down too well with some fans of the science-fiction genre. Some among the audience will also find the goings-on difficult to digest. A few will be put off by the gory action scenes. Also, when the apes go out on a rampage in the latter part of the film, the audience will probably fear the ferocious monsters rather than empathise with all the suffering and pain they had to undergo.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Review – Star Performances
James Franco is good as the troubled scientist caught between two equally difficult situations. For all the hype around Freida Pinto (who plays a veterinarian and James Franco’s love interest in the film), she barely has any screen time, and doesn’t have much to do anyway. John Lithgow is fine as the father struggling with his debilitating illness. Tom Felton is at his malicious best. Andy Serkis (as Caesar) also does a very good job.
Click next for more on the direction & box-office verdict