‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is easily the year’s best blockbuster

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by Rupert Wyatt

Written by Rick Jaffa (based on the novel by Pierre Boulle)

USA, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is one of the most unexpected blockbuster successes’ in recent memory. Inspired by the 1968 science fiction classic which sees a non-Mexican Charlton Heston crash on a planet, filled with (you guessed it) hyper intelligent apes, a strange tale of role reversals was really a tragic distopian vision. Rise of the Planet of the Apes maintains enough scientific speculation to hold onto its sci-fi heritage, though the film leans heavily towards horror and action.

The film outclasses most of its blockbuster brethren based almost solely on the originality of the set-pieces and the sincerity of emotion it presents. Though not all

relationships are carefully drawn (the “central” romance feels tacked on), the ones that work are extremely effective. John Lithgow especially becomes the human heart of the film. He plays Franco’s father, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. He single-handily redeems humanity in the film and helps create a compelling and tragic emotional link between man and animal.

Rise‘s effectiveness also rides on the complexity of our emotional response. The film paints a world where animal testing is a successful means of finding cures for horrible diseases but it also demonstrates the cruelty these animals are subjected to. The intelligence that the apes eventually gain is significant, but even before the animals exhibit a great deal of self-awareness which is what inspires their “revolution”. Not to mention the fact that the film is not guilty of excessive personification, and the apes, even at their most sincere and “human” are still shown to be fundamentally animal. An ape is not a human and never will be. We may empathize with their plight but we can’t help fearing them as well.

This leads to the strength of the film’s Golden Gate Bridge climax. Much like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, the sequences

demonstrates humanity’s ineffectiveness when faced with the mighty strength of nature. The only reason humanity is not crushed in the hands of the Apes is merely because they choose to be merciful. A notably divisive epilogue further empathizes our race’s physical shortcomings, raising relevant and troubling contemporary anxiety about mortality.

In spite of the heavily exposition-laden dialogue in early parts of the film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes makes the right choice in sitting back and allowing the apes to communicate through behavior and physicality. Not only is nothing lost, but the audience gains a unique repartee with our future overlords, who consistently demonstrate more depth and understanding than any human characters in the film. All too rare in a studio backed summer release, Rise of the Planet of the Apes contains a handful of surprises, all of which are earned.

Justine Smith


Add Comment

50 CEOs Who Never Went to College (and how they managed to succeed)
10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
7 Best Golf Courses in St. Augustine, Florida
25 Bachelor Party Movie Ideas
People playing the clarinet
10 Different Types of Clarinets
11 Different Types of Drums
A bowl of oatmeal porridge
7 Different Types of Porridge
Shots of tequila
5 Different Types of Tequila (Plus Tequila Cocktails)
Fresh kale in a bowl
10 Different Types of Kale
8 Different Types of Cantaloupes
A Man in a Suit Opening a Car’s Door
9 Different Types of Car Doors
Headlights of a black car
9 Different Types of Headlights
19 Different Types of Construction Vehicles
Fire Truck with Warm Yellow Lights
9 Different Types of Fire Trucks
54 Different Types of Sports Played (Individual and Team Sports)
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
16 Different Types of Technology
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Camera Stores for the Perfect Pics