Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The general consensus for this Apes film is that it wasn’t what anyone expected, especially after having seen the trailer. None of the hot topics are thrust down your throat, they are merely lightly touched upon; corporate greed, DNA manipulation, family values, and the perilous survival of our global civilisation.

Having these issues playing second fiddle allows for some deeply touching and powerful moments of cinematic brilliance. These involve the moments when the genius, but drug enhanced, chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis via motion capture) starts to discover what an uncomfortable position he has in the world.

He uses sign language to ask a simple question, and this small gesture makes for one of the most unsettling moments in the whole film, mainly because here simply is no real answer. We learn this as Will’s (James Franco) quick yet heartfelt response is quickly quashed by the bitter reality that this world just isn’t prepared for, or able to cope with, such as Caesar.

What the WETA FX team and Serkis have done here with Caesar is nothing short of genius, pushing the boundaries of technology so far forward is beggars belief. Caesar is alive in a way which so many human film characters aren’t; he is a being that consists of such complex emotions that he elicits the same from the audience. He is the sole creator the unusual suspense this film yields, and which you don’t realise you are gripped by until the climax.

There is an unforced fluidity about this film that makes it a stand out cinematic event, and the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge is mind-blowing. If you haven’t yet seen the trailer avoid it, if you have, put your misconceptions to one side and view this film with an open mind, and an open heart.