Apes ruling the world and humans used for experiments. Ridiculous concept, I agree but one I liked watching, again and again with all the reruns of the classic “Planet of the Apes” on TV.
Storyline: The Rise of the planet of the Apes is by far, the best prequel I have seen. Little Caesar, who is born to “bright eyes”, a lab chimp being treated with Alzheimer’s drugs that could create new channels in the brain, is adopted by Will(James Franco). He is smart, wants to be like neighborhood kids , looks after his grandfather(Will’s father) suffering from Alzheimer’s and so on. Because of the drug being passed genetically, he ends up thousand times smarter than a regular ape. Simple, yeah? Growing up, he gets confused when his ape instincts kick in and he angrily hurts a neighbor who is rude to his grandfather. Put in an ape jail, he suffers like any other high school newbie. What we should not forget here is that Caesar is smart and in typical hero fashion, conquers the inmates in the jail with his cunning, smart antics and becomes the leader.
After tasting a little bit of power, he refuses to go home and plans his escape to Muir woods. During his fight with the evil jail keeper, out comes the first word “NO” and you thought only kids learnt that as their first word. Till the last scene, Caesar’s speech progression is kind of slow( I think the ape instincts kicked in again) and you see him pretty much saying “NO” whenever a zealot ape tries to kill a human. Btw, all this happens in our own SFO. Finally, Caesar thinks he is home in Muir woods. If you are thinking, “OK, so the apes call Muir woods their home and live a peaceful life, with maybe the elders forming a panchayat, building schools and teaching the ape kids how to speak, assuming Caesar would have somehow learnt all the words without much interaction with humans, the smart ass..oops ape that he is, how did the humans vanish and get annihilated as shown in “POFA” ?”, here is the killer. The latest virus AR3 that are injected into the apes to test their brain stimulation, are harmful to humans, but the apes are immune to it. Cool, huh.
Bottom line, good vs evil, a classic regular old concept in a new bottle……I mean movie. Not a moment of dullness. I loved it.
I loved this prequel as it ties in all the loose ends in “planet of the Apes”.
The spaceship which crash lands in “POFA” is shown in the background.
Now, you know what Caesar was up to as a kid and how he became the king. It might have been better if they had shown him wearing a wreath and riding a Tonga into Muir woods.
Of course, it explains the talking apes ( assuming Caesar learnt lot more words) in “POFA” though makes you wonder why the humans were not talking in “POFA”. Maybe, I missed something there.
The last flight which the virus infected neighbor takes , is to “New York”. Remember the “Statue of Liberty” that Charles Heston sees in the last scene. Suresh had a valid question about this though. How did the apes go to NewYork from SFO. Suggestions, anyone?
When Caesar, though sulking himself, helps his Alzheimer affected grandfather hold a fork. A very touching scene that also shows how his intelligence is steadily growing.
When the apes escape is shown by falling leaves.
And, of course, when Caesar shouts “NO”, his first word.
Contrary to what the promos show, the Apes don’t want to destroy humankind and rule the earth. They just want to be blissfully happy in Muir Woods , sitting on top of trees, looking nostalgically at the Golden Gate Bridge. If you think James Franco is the hero of the movie, you would be far from truth. Andy Serkis, yes, the man who gave the “precious” emotions and expressions to Gollum in “Lord of the rings”, is the true hero. His portrayal of Caesar, from the expression of an innocent child to the fully mature human-ape in the end. MARVELLOUS !