Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)Starring James Franco, Andy Serkis, John Lithgow, Freida Pinto, Brian Cox, Tom Felton

Directed by Rupert Wyatt

The original Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall still remains one of the best epic science fiction films of all time. It's had its share of sequels and spin-offs since being released in 1968 (five movies and two television series, not to mention the Tim Burton reboot so many of us fans would like to forget even existed), proving that no matter how much time passes, compelling storytelling will endure.

Here we are now 43 years after the release of the first film, and 20th Century Fox is rebooting the franchise once again with director Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which sets out to give audiences a new spin on the origin story of the Apes franchise by following revolutionary chimpanzee Caesar as he breaks free from the human world he's born into, breathing new life into the long-dormant property and finally giving fans the modern Apes movie we've been longing for ever since Burton's debacle was released ten years ago.

If you're one of the purists who follow every aspect of the origin story established in the original Apes franchise, Rise will require you to put some of that behind you. Here we are introduced to Caesar (Serkis), the leader of the primate uprising, as the progeny of Chimp #9 (also known as "Bright Eyes," a shout-out to original Apes), who is captured in a remote jungle to be used in Dr. Will Rodman (Franco)'s simian-stage testing of a potential neuro-regenerative cure for Alzheimer's for medical developer GenSys.

When Chimp #9 is shot dead after running amok in the testing facility, the head of GenSys orders the rest of the apes to be put down and terminates Rodman's program. But once Will discovers Bright Eyes' baby hiding under a table and realizes that's the real reason she was acting out (not due to medical side effects of the testing), he's left with the burden of responsibility for the baby chimp. Rather than letting Bright Eyes' baby suffer the same fate as his mother, Will takes the infant primate home with him until he can figure out what to do with it. But as soon as he gets home, Will's father, Charles (Lithgow), who struggles with the debilitating effects of dementia, becomes immediately attached to the chimp and names him Caesar in honor of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)Will notices from the start that there is something remarkable about Caesar- he exhibits heightened intelligence and reasoning skills mostly due to the effects of the medical treatment being passed onto him while still in the womb. Over time Caesar begins to flourish, and once Will sees what the drug can do, he decides to administer it to Charles on the DL from GenSys in a desperate attempt to save both his father and years of research he's done for the company in searching for a cure for Alzheimer's. Remarkably, Charles responds to Will's treatments, and even if it is for a short time, it seems like all is right in Will's world- Charles' rebound from dementia is almost instantaneous, and he's finding himself enjoying his father-son relationship with Caesar.

As we all know, the good times always have to end, and soon Will's faced with potentially losing both his father and Caesar after a horrific incident plays out where the chimp attacks a neighbor in an effort to protect Charles, and Caesar is sent to live at a primate sanctuary in San Bruno managed by the unscrupulous John Landon (Cox) and his douchebag of a son, Dodge (Felton, once again playing a villain). Once Caesar is left at San Bruno, he begins to realize that the human race isn't all it's cracked up to be without Will around to protect him. Caesar decides he's done taking orders and starts putting together a plan to rally not only all the primates at San Bruno but other primates located all over the San Francisco area. And so begins the actual Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

From there the movie's pace gets a boost, and Caesar and his pals are off to show the humans just why they're done being considered "second-class citizens." There's a lot of mayhem once the primates are on the loose that builds to an epic showdown between law enforcement officials and the primates on the Golden Gate Bridge which is nothing short of a spectacular feast for the eyes.

There are also a few surprises in the film's third act that I would never dream of giving away for our readers, but suffice to say that Rise of the Planet of the Apes is hands-down the best film of the franchise since 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (although I still enjoy 1973's Battle immensely, Conquest is by far a stronger film) and is the kind of film we should have gotten back in 2001 when Burton took a crack at the franchise.

Rise definitely takes some liberties with the mythology established in its predecessors. Writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver decide to ignore the time travel-based explanation for the apes' rise that was established in 1971's Escape from the Planet of the Apes as well as reinventing the origin story for Caesar, who was originally introduced as the offspring of Cornelius and Zira in Escape and became the leader of the ape uprising in Conquest. Being such a huge Apes fan, I was completely okay with Jaffa and Silver taking these liberties because the results were so damn entertaining and engrossing to watch as they unfolded.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)Serkis' portrayal of revolutionary chimp Caesar is truly a landmark performance that should hopefully garner the performance-capture actor some attention for his work. For years Serkis has been overlooked in his performance-capture work because the sticking point was that he actually needed to be the character we see on the screen, and in Rise WETA finally nailed down the technology allowing Serkis to perform his role alongside Franco, Lithgow and the rest of the human characters in the film so the Academy's excuses are no longer valid.

Hands down, Serkis deserves to take home some Oscar gold next year for his work in Rise because I guarantee you've never seen anything like what he delivers in this film. Remarkable and poignant don't even begin to describe it. It's something that needs to be seen to be believed.

If I have any issues with the film at all it is that the first act is a bit rushed, which leaves very little time for Franco to really make an impression. Lithgow is spot-on as usual (Does that guy ever give a bad performance? Not in my book!), and both Cox and Felton are great as the antagonists. Pinto left a very small impression on me as well, but I'm willing to overlook that because this move is more about Caesar than it is about the humans. Clearly, director Wyatt understood what fans want to see - apes taking over - so he doesn't do much in taking his time establishing his human characters at the beginning of Rise.

However, whatever may be lacking in the character development department, Wyatt makes up for with some spectacular action sequences as well as some pretty emotional moments among Will, Charles and Caesar because for as much as the story is about the destructive results of humans playing with the natural order of things, at the end of the day Rise of the Planet of the Apes is also a story about the relationships between fathers and sons and what it means to have to let go once they're no longer part of your world. So while there is plenty of action in Rise, you may just need to have a Kleenex or two on you just in case because things do get emotional from time to time.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the antidote to the bloated summer blockbusters that have been taking over our multiplexes these last several months. The film was definitely made with Planet of the Apes fans in mind, but there is still a lot to be enjoyed for the uninitiated audiences out there. Rise is a masterfully crafted sci-fi/horror adventure that has the power to draw you in with both a breathtaking action story as well as the heartfelt characters at the core, making it one of the strongest and most intelligent popcorn flicks of the year.

4 1/2 out of 5

Discuss Rise of the Planet of the Apes in the comments section below!


admin moderator Seems like they lost their
Jon Condit's picture

Seems like they lost their steam :\

I was looking forward to more angry rants about how we all live with my grandma this morning.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 8:30am.

Well, aside from the fact that Steve Uncle Buffet BarTON and WomanInHag used to live with you at your granny's house, but now it's just you at granny's again. Does your granny get mad that you h0m0s keep all the prizes you're supposed to be giving away at her house? Like when Uncle Butter kept the Land of the Dead prop while lying about giving it away and was publicly called out on it by Diceman? Don't you fat sponges feel embarrassed about living off relatives? Even though some of you live in shitty apartments, your relatives are still paying your rent. I guess at least Uncle Food has WomanInHag and her shitty office salary keeping him buried in Jack In The Box wrappers and video games, but Kasch would be dead without his parents paying his rent and keeping him on their insurance. And Fagwonder also won't survive without his relatives allowing him to live in their shack ravaged by Katrina in Long Beach Mississippi. For fuck's sake, enough is enough. You are all adults. It's MORE than time to cut the umbilical already. And tell Uncle AllUcanEat to stop posting those gay nerd asterisk physical activities that he pretends he does (*dances around in techno dance*). We all know he physically cannot walk correctly, let alone dance. The short fat fuck waddles around conventions and sweats. And don't be confused by the words "short fat fuck." I know that describes most of you dipshits (Condit), but in this case, I'm describing Uncle Waddle Cankles.

Submitted by nancylives on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 12:52pm.
admin moderator LOL you guys are really easy
Jon Condit's picture

LOL you guys are really easy to wind up.

Ya know the minute Jeff posted his first post and linked to it from your silly little hideout you guys were all outed right? When I saw Jeff online this morning reading this thread I knew if I wound him up a little he'd go quote me on your dumb little forum and you would be back. Because Jeff doesn't dare post from an IP I can trace.

Whats even better is that you all log in and high five each other every time one of you guys posts something remotely funny.

I really enjoyed some of your more compelling posts where you guys sit around talking about shit you said to us on a message board 6 or 7 years ago.

What is really sad is that you guys have been at this in a few cases for almost 10 years. You can admit it now, this is your life. You are utterly consumed with us and what we do.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 2:26pm.
moderator I wonder what Jeff's wife
Steve Barton's picture

I wonder what Jeff's wife would think? Or his neighbors? Or his job? Or his golfing buddies would think if they found out just what he and his little friends were doing while at work? How he feels about black people, etc. It is all there on their forum. Man, I "invision" some real problems sooner or later.

He's online right now too. Under one of his names of course. Reading this thread and asking himself the very same questions.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 2:44pm.
admin moderator Their message board is
Jon Condit's picture

Their message board is ironically called INTERNET LOSERS fitting for a group of adults spending all their time talking shit about strangers on the internet.


Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 2:46pm.
admin moderator And don't worry guys we made
Jon Condit's picture

And don't worry guys we made hard copies of each thread to share with all the people you have been trolling. I am sure they will be more than interested.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 2:54pm.
moderator Ladies and gentleman, now
Steve Barton's picture

Ladies and gentleman, now that they've shown their hands by giving some silly details that are not only untrue but completely ludicrous ... Let me present to you to one of the internet minions of Jeff H. Jeff was first known as Impaler-240 - amateur golfer and married man in his thirties/forties.

Basically what Jeff and his eight or so little trolling buddies have been doing is following us around for years. Since we worked at Fango, and then The Horror Channel. That's what their whole me "burning bridges" thing is about. Basically their M.O. is to gather around a forum which I'm sure is out there somewhere and decide who they're going to troll. They make fake accounts, share passwords for said accounts and target everyone from websites to individuals.

You'll notice these exact conversations will start up here every few months. These folks think they're getting under our skin; meanwhile the only emotion they manage to elicit from us is sadness. Not for ourselves, but for them and their families. Families who probably have no clue what they're doing on their computers. How empty can somebody's life be that they need to try and demean others to make themselves feel better? They also live in a world where they think that everything's all in good fun, and there are no consequences to what they do. There's always consequences, kids.


Submitted by Steve Barton on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 2:18pm.
kiddcapone's picture

So......what's been going on in here, anything interesting ?????

Submitted by kiddcapone on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 8:36pm.
Foywonder's picture

Just a few knuckleheads auditioning for roles in the American remake of TROLL HUNTER.

Submitted by Foywonder on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 9:06pm.
TigerClaw's picture

I saw it last night, It was a great film, Better then the Tim Burton version. It leave it open for a potential sequel.

Submitted by TigerClaw on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 9:02pm.

Wow! "Nancylives" sure has a lot of time to write about how much he/she/it despises this website and the people behind it - don't you have anything else to do on this gorgeous sunny day? I've been outside working on my house fixing windows, making a playhouse for my kids, and now I'm off to play football! I just thought I'd mention that because you're wasting a lot of your life sitting here writing about things most people will not care to read, or do not agree with!

Submitted by PelusaMG on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 3:44pm.
Terminal's picture

Great review for a great movie!

Submitted by Terminal on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 9:26am.
The Buz's picture

Holy good golly Ms. Molly Rise was incredible! Easily my favorite movie of the summer. I'm with Foy, if you'd told me ROTPOTA was going to be the best summer blockbuster I would have told you to eat it. I'm so happy to have been wrong.

Wow. I could watch that again. Like right now.

Submitted by The Buz on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 5:49am.
James Coker's picture

hey I don't hide behind a username, I'm one of the only few who actually uses his real name...so when I talk shit on a movie here at DC I stand by it

Submitted by James Coker on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 2:34am.
admin moderator Until either one of you are
Jon Condit's picture

Until either one of you are brave enough to post any of this with the courage to stand behind what you are saying it is just crap.

We make ourselves very available. You know who we are, we don't hide behind a username.

Here are the facts. There is only a handful of reasons neither of you will take accountability for your words. And all of them come down to being too afraid to post under your real names.

And neither of you are here to criticize anything or anyone. If you were here to do something like that you would have no reason not to speak on your own behalf.

No you are here as trolls. To stir the pot and talk shit. And as such you have nothing to say of any merit if you yourselves wont put your own reputation and good name behind your claims.

We here at Dread Central certainly can take criticism, what we have is a low tolerance for is trolls, shills, and shit talkers.

So until either one of you wants to put your money where your mouth is the rest of us will be enjoying your angry nerd rage and the extra traffic.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 11:14pm.

LMAO! Your awesome "traffic" that had no one defending you man-children till I pointed it out is hilarious. Your "reputation?" You have no reputation. You're a fat fast-food eater who plays internet all day. If you horror rockstars are SO busy and SO involved with industry, then why has your ENTIRE "staff" been hanging on my every word here and LIVING on your own comments section the ENTIRE weekend? LOL! Condit, you fat idiot, you live with your granny. You are ALL renters! Not ONE of you faggots owns a home. HOW exactly are you idiots SUCCESSFUL? HOW exactly are you idiots "IN THE BIZ" like you LOVE to claim? You're all just fat fanboys in your early and late 30s who have NOTHING but imaginary "reputations."

Submitted by nancylives on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 2:18pm.

I'm guessing this guy is one of those DC-obsessed jerk offs from Horror Yearbook?

Submitted by LSD Zombie on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 7:17pm.
Matt Serafini's picture

"You are ALL renters! Not ONE of you faggots owns a home."

Tell that to my mortgage, please.

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 5:24pm.

A lot of people are defending them. You want more? Fine, I'll join in. DC is the only horror news site I even go to. They have my favorite podcast. They work hard and give honest reviews (even of films where they know the people involved- they know the Asylum guys and slam their films on an almost daily basis).

If anyone is wasting their time here, its you, not us "man children."

Submitted by MouthForWar on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 4:45pm.

^ Are these lyrics from a rap song?

Submitted by PelusaMG on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 3:46pm.
admin moderator Cool story bro.
Jon Condit's picture

Cool story bro.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 3:34pm.
moderator This movie was absolutely
Steve Barton's picture

This movie was absolutely incredible ... It could have gone on for an extra hour and would have been happy. I wanted more. Can someone please give Andy Serkis an Oscar already? The things he brings to his characters are nothing short of amazing.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 7:50pm.

Can I ask a question? Why is all this being discussed on the page for Planet of the Apes, of all things? Shouldn't this discussion at least be had on the page for one of the movies that DC supposedly has a "bias" towards?

Submitted by MouthForWar on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 6:58pm.
moderator Because the person(s) trying
Steve Barton's picture

Because the person(s) trying to discredit me/us knew this review would be getting a lot of traffic so what better place to talk crap? It's old troll hat.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 9:28pm.

I have lurked around for quite a while and have also noticed that despite your metal claims of never "selling out," you absolutely do show bias and favoritism. Uncle Creepy just freely admitted you guys are not professional journalists with money, but in fact fanboys who "love" horror. You guys can deny it all you want, but everyone can see right through your favoritism and bias very easily. Over the years, you guys have given multiple praise and coverage for your own personal friends and their SOV straight-to-dvd projects as well as came off as complete kiss-asses to Adam Green and his projects, which "coincidentally" happen to give Dread Central staff roles as extras. When you review & praise projects that you have personal ties with ("His Name Was Jason," "Hatchet 2," etc.) it makes you look extremely unprofessional and honestly, like kiss-ass fanboys. And trust that I'm not the only one who sees this and says this. It's blatantly obvious.

Submitted by nancylives on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 11:46am.
moderator "I have lurked around for
Steve Barton's picture

"I have lurked around for quite a while"

Yes. As of this writing you've been here for a whopping three hours and fifty-minutes. As an admin I can see when people join the site and how long they been a member. Thanks for sticking with us so long.

"and have also noticed that despite your metal claims of never "selling out," you absolutely do show bias and favoritism."

Seriously dude. We're so fucking metal.

"Uncle Creepy just freely admitted you guys are not professional journalists with money, but in fact fanboys who "love" horror."

Because when it comes to horror you want people covering it who are just in it for the paycheck.

"You guys can deny it all you want, but everyone can see right through your favoritism and bias very easily."

Is it my Paramount Pictures tattoo?

"When you review & praise projects that you have personal ties with ("His Name Was Jason," "Hatchet 2," etc.) it makes you look extremely unprofessional and honestly, like kiss-ass fanboys. And trust that I'm not the only one who sees this and says this. It's blatantly obvious."

Would you rather us cover Cars, Madea's Family Reunion, and Bride's Maids? People come here because we cover horror movies. We can't not cover a project that takes 100's of people to work on and bring to fruition because someone made a 5 second cameo.

"Over the years, you guys have given multiple praise and coverage for your own personal friends and their SOV straight-to-dvd projects as well as came off as complete kiss-asses to Adam Green and his projects, which "coincidentally" happen to give Dread Central staff roles as extras."

If we didn't cover the projects of personal friends we'd have nothing to report about. We've been working within the horror genre for over ten years. Most of us have personal relationships with everyone from George A. Romero to the head of The Asylum David Mitchell Latt. It's inevitable. All filmmakers put their friends in movies or shows, or videos. Mainly because they're friends. By your logic Jon Stewart shouldn't cover politics or have political guests on "The Daily Show" because he has friends who are politicians.

You also go on to say we can't take criticism. The whole staff will rush to defend, yadda yadda yadda. It's more like we can't take stupidity, but I'll get to that in a second. You see, that's a joke in and of itself. People like you will come here accuse us of everything under the sun, demand that we take notice and "read carefully" your criticisms, suggest that we re-evaluate our policies, but then if we do and actually respond to you we're rushing to defend ourselves because we cannot take criticism. Hence my aforementioned comment about stupidity. It's like pissing in the wind. You'll only take the time to see what you want to see and point out what you point out. It doesn't matter if we say things like ...

"We expect it. It's kool and the gang, baby. Do what you will. We're confident in what we do and know why we do it."


"I only worry about my own backyard. Everyone else is free to run their business any way that they see fit. I am no one to judge them. Whatever works for someone, works! Thanks for all the enlightenment, though. Much appreciated."

Which I've pulled from this very thread.

It is what it is, man. Anyone who can read between the lines can see that in the end this is all about trying to get under my skin, as it always circles back to something I did to make someone have some personal beef with me ... like building a successful horror website through hard work and dedication with people whom I love dearly, without taking any shortcuts. One that never asks for a dime from its readership. One that's free of charge where the only requirements are that you love horror movies, and strangely enough ...

The ONLY successful horror website that DOESN'T HAVE A CORPORATE PARENT COMPANY. That's right! One that's made a name for itself and can hang with the big boys without having any HUGE company to answer to. Any success we have achieved has come because we wanted to prove fans know this shit better than anyone else, and have the power to be heard. We answer only to ourselves. No one owns us.


I told you we were so fuckin' metal. :)

Submitted by Steve Barton on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 3:30pm.
Gus Bjork's picture

Very persuasive Mr. Uncle Creepy. However, can you explain why this site is so big in Pakistan?

Submitted by Gus Bjork on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 5:40pm.
Foywonder's picture

Mexicans hate Buz but Jihadists think he's the bees knees.

Submitted by Foywonder on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 5:52pm.

You have "personal relationships" with industry folks, huh? Yeah, I'm sure you have many dinners and vacations with your "friend" George Romero. I'm sure you're godfathers to their children and attend birthday parties and are in all of their pictures and shit. You've been to their homes, right? LMFAO!

Stop playing pretend with me, BarTON. Your internet claims won't work on me. I actually pay my own way through life, own a home and don't depend on relatives to exist. Nice try though. Keep pretending for your handful of readers. Go play Xbox and eat Jack In The Box and then tweet about it because that's all you're good for.

Submitted by nancylives on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 2:23pm.
Sirand's picture

"Uncle Creepy just freely admitted you guys are not professional journalists with money, but in fact fanboys who "love" horror"

How in the hell is that biased? News flash: Every horror website is operated by people who "love" horror. Just like every movie critic is someone who "loves" movies. How is being passionate about something showing favoritism? Hell, people like Foy passionately tear apart films on a daily basis. If you think a site with a love of horror automatically equates to soft-peddling, just scan our review archives (or talk to anyone working at Platinum Dunes).

"you guys have given multiple praise and coverage for your own personal friends and their SOV straight-to-dvd projects as well as came off as complete kiss-asses to Adam Green and his projects, which "coincidentally" happen to give Dread Central staff roles as extras"

And if you read closely, you'd know that those were reviewed, not by Uncle Creepy, but by other members of the staff who have no ties to these projects. Titles like "His Name Was Jason" & "Hatchet 2" have been slammed by plenty of DC staff-members (hell, I worked on HNWJ and I've said it's a piece of shit). As with every website, there are a multitude of reviewers with differing opinions. Nobody - not even the staff members - agree with everything that has ever been posted here.

Funny how accusations of bias only come up from people who disagree with a particular writer or review.

Submitted by Sirand on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 12:04pm.

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