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Movie: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Evolution Becomes Revolution

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) is a sci-fi movie about genetic engineering that leads to the development of super-intelligent apes.

Synopsis: Will Rodman (James Franco) is working on a cure for Alzheimer's disease by performing drug tests on lab apes. During the testing period, a female chimp gives birth to Caesar (Andy Serkis). 


Caesar stays and grows up with Rodman's family and displays intelligent, human-like behaviors. Rodman finds that the drug not only regenerates brain cells but also genetically modifies Caesar's way of thinking. Caesar behaves unbelievably well in Rodman's home but one day he attacks a neighbor and human authority orders him to be locked up.

Caesar proves to be smart enough to escape imprisonment and helps lead his species in an uprising against the humans who keep thousands of apes like him in cages.

Honestly, I don't know what I want to say about this movie. Not that it isn't good but I find the story frightening. The CGI-ed apes - chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans - look very much real and alive. However, Caesar, the intelligent ape leader is acted by Andy Serkis, Hollywood's go-to actor for playing computer-generated characters. He's also Gollum's voice in Lord of the Rings. Read up interview highlights with Andy Serkis here.

Oh, there's Freida Pinto as Caroline, Will's girlfriend, if you remember her from Slumdog Millionaire. But I think she's severely underused. James Franco's character, Will, is a bit flat and uninteresting as well. I guess, the star who steals the show is the super-ape Caesar.

By the way, do stay back when the credits start rolling because you will be shown a very brief yet crucial scene that gives the movie an open ending.


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