It is quite the weird sensation when watching the fantastic reboot of the franchise of the Planet of the Apes and you find yourself cheering for the apes against the humans.
It is the strangest feeling when you actually realize that these humans are the antagonists in this story and that the audience was rooting for the apes to crush these humans which would lead to, as we know, the eventual take over of the planet.
It is just a surreal film.
This thing had no chance of being any good. And yet it was fantastic. James Franco gave one of his very best performances (up there with Disaster Artist) helping to tell this story from the human side. Andy Serkis started his work in this trilogy that should have earned him an Academy Award nomination. His work as Caesar was simply astounding. John Lithgow was great too as James Franco’s father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
I watched this as the ongoing virus outbreak film festival that I have been watching this week. In this film, we see the beginning of the Simian flu that would wind up wiping out a chunk of the planet and helping lead toward the apes becoming the alpha race. Yet, it was not the apes that led to the release of this virus, but the humans. As always, these viral outbreaks can be traced back to human error or greed.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt, this film served as a reboot, even though we saw allusions to the Planet of the Apes movie from 1967. Wyatt made this from the POV of Caesar and made him a central figure, which is amazing considering this character did not have a verbal component in most of this movie.
The CGI in the Rise of the Planet of the Apes is unbelievable. Caesar is as realistic as he could possibly be. The rest of the ape characters are masterful.
This kicked off a tremendous trilogy and I would go as far as to say that this is my favorite of the three films.