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Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the film adaptation of Pierre Boule’s 1968′s semisatiric sci-fi novel. The prequel to Planet of the Apes, explains the history of the franchise.
Looking back, In the 1968 Classic, an astronaut played by Charlton Heston awakes on a planet where he finds intelligent Apes that have created a ruling class who keep humans as slaves. By the end of the film he discovers, this is no planet but the future of earth.
Now flash forward to Rise of the Planet of the Apes- this film tells the story of how the Apes came to enslave mankind. In what started as a scientists quest to cure his fathers Alzheimer’s, he unearths a cure for stupidity. The same story is told in the 1972 film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
What writers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes try to do is to right a series of mega-million dollar wrongs by not remaking the film but remaking our original assessment of the original film. When comparing Rise of the Planet of the Apes to similar films in its category and genre- it is a science fiction masterpiece because the sequels and eventual prequels that followed the original Planet of the Apes were terrible.
The first thing that Rise of the Planet of the Apes does differently is that it takes places in present day. However, it does throwback to the Planet of the Apes, having the movie’s simian lead: Caesar. The problem with the film is that it leaves a lot of unanswered questions and unexplained themes. For instance, Dr. Rodman (played by James Franco) although of the best intentions, proved that animals will be animals no matter how much love and training. The movie does little to resolve the fact that Rodman’s irresponsibility led to the fall of mankind and in the end he still sees his baby chimp ‘Caesar’ and not the knew animal Ape king that could rip his face apart in mere moments.
Maybe the doctor saw baby-Caesar, I saw a Hitler in the making that should have been killed with the other apes during the first trial of the ‘cure’. I saw the whole ‘final battle’ as a battle for Middle Earth and rather than we all being on the same page in terms of be united against our enemy ‘the Apes’ I felt, Dr. Rodman, if he had to do it all over again, he would not do anything differently because he is just as dumb as Caesar (pre-birth). I am unsure of anyone else, but throughout the entire film I felt that Caesar was moments away from ripping everyones arms off- he just didn’t seem that friendly to me.
The sad thing about this film is before going in, we all know what is going to happen- the apes win. I did not find a hero in either the naive doctor nor the ape- everyone was just so hopeless. I was personally cheering for his girlfriend, who was the only one that seemed to possess an ounce of good sense.
Overall, the film can be taken home and watched by the entire family. There is limited blood and gore considering the Apes had the upper hand during the battle. After leaving the film I decided to get my gun license but for everyone else you may decide to support PETA and its sisters organization in continuing this flawed misconception that animals, even if given intelligence, could be anything ‘like us’.
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