I have to confess, I am not a huge fan of the whole Planet of the Apes series. I have seen a few (including the adaptation with Mark Wahlberg), but they have never really struck a chord. So, after much hesitation, and a number of good reviews from fellow bloggers, I finally bought the DVD of the latest for a viewing.
My first and immediate reaction was that I liked it, no, I enjoyed it. The story moved along nicely and managed to captivate me. It's simple enough to pass as a popcorn flick, but complicated enough to satisfy someone who always wants a little more from their movie going experience.
In a nutshell, Rise of the Planet of the Apes sees how a medication to cure Alzheimer's, being tested on an ape Caesar (Andy Serkis), eventually results in giving him heightened brain function. As the experiment is closed, he is secretly adopted by the lead researcher Will Rodman (James Franco). Hereon, the movie moves on covering different events over a few years that eventually leads to the Ape uprising.
James Franco continues to wow me with the diversity in his roles. It's not a challenging role, yet he performs it well. John Lithgow and Tom Felton were a pleasant surprise. Andy Serkis, makes the most of the performance capture technology, to bring Caesar to life, and without doubt is the star of the film. As for Frieda Pinto… meh!, as always (sorry I still cannot get around liking her in films). From a technical viewpoint, the film is supreme.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a good starting point for anyone who wants to get into the whole Ape franchise. I'm not sure if sequels are planned, but watching some of the previous releases after this one will definitely whet your appetite in case there is time before we see another Ape-fest.