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Customer Review

235 of 288 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caesar Rises to Greatness!, August 10, 2011
This review is from: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (DVD)
For a movie whose trailer seemed fake at first glance (a serious drama about a superintelligent ape and his issues?), RotPotA (rot-POT-uh) does an incredible job getting you invested in the plight of a chimp. Low budget for a summer blockbuster, this ninety million dollar film focuses on the rise of Caesar, first of his species and leader of the apes. We watch as he grows up, casts off his human friendships, and eventually leads a revolt in the hopes of achieving freedom for his people, err, his fellow apes.

Whether or not you're going to like this movie boils down to one thing: can you buy into it? Can you lay your hard-earned money on the line and accept Caesar as a fully human character with hopes and fears? Since the actual humans are sort of irrelevant and the apes are incapable of speech, there's not a lot to go on. Basically, if you liked the first 40 minutes of Wall-E, then you'll probably be fine. Caesar may not be a lovable trash robot (or is he?! Twist!), but Andy Serkis does an incredible job conveying his feelings through his motions. Serkis must've spent years living among the apes of the wild to achieve such realistic mimicry (he went to Rwanda and chilled in zoos!), and he strikes epic and expressive poses aplenty, each one conveying Caesar's thoughts without feeling obvious and overblown. By the end of the movie, you'll care more about Caesar than any actual human (in the film--hopefully not in real life). You'll fear for his friends and root for his victory. Honestly, an ape that likable? I'll let him rise above me any day.

Once you're down with the movie's premise, and once you're finally ok with Franco's whole "Let's make a much more aggressive form of this untested virus! What could possibly go wrong?" line of thinking, you're ready to experience a truly great film.

The movie builds and builds, each scene more intense than the last. Watching Caesar slowly learn to despise humanity is fantastic, and when he finally becomes a total champion, you're with him all the way. There's a moment when the music changes and Caesar first uses a basic tool to win his freedom, and I couldn't have been more stoked. Then he goes on to recruit his friends, who are all hardcore. I wasn't really sure what their names were, so I made my own: Grayback, the original leader whom Caesar overthrows, Jowly, the friendly circus orangutan with giant, jiggling jowls, Kong, the huge gorilla, and Scar, the one-eyed embodiment of evil. While they cannot be as well drawn as normal human characters due to the lack of dialogue, I still had a distinct understanding of each of their personalities.

Just like I distinctly understood Draco Malfoy's new character. He once again nailed the sniveling jerk role. I hated that guy so much. He was just so mean to the apes! I guess what he didn't count on was that they'd all become superintelligent. Nobody expects that (in that way, it's like the Spanish Inquisition). His somewhat subpar predictive powers aside, he does get the best Planet of the Apes reference, shouting, "Take your stinking paws off me, you d*mn dirty ape!"

It's people like that who'll make the apes kill us all, which reminds me: the climax of this movie is crazy epic. It takes place on the Golden Gate bridge, and it's unbelievably fun to watch the ramshackle ape army use their new intelligence to take on the unprepared humans.

Not everything was perfectly executed, but all the problems feel like pointless nitpicks. Some characters agree to things a little too quickly, one or two lines are just a little off, Franco gives up on freeing Caesar super easily, the girlfriend should've had either a much larger or much smaller role, and they don't show some scenes of the other apes getting exposed to the intelligence drug (I just assume they cut that scene but that it happened). Also, the entire audience laughed at the epic/heartwarming scene between James Franco and Caesar in the forest at the end, and while it did feel a little ridiculous, it's that same issue I brought up before. You have to buy into this film. You have to let go of that cynical part of you and allow yourself to enjoy what you're seeing. The movie takes its premise 100% seriously, and there's no room for laughter.

In the end, this film is so good that I found myself lost in it. I was unaware of the music, the pacing, the acting, everything, because I was just too busy being completely invested and enjoying the heck out of myself. I cannot wait for the sequel. In a rare piece of cinema, this movie managed to feel complete on its own and yet leave you craving more. If you had to see one film this summer (and you didn't care about the cultural impact of Harry Potter), this would be it.

Score: 4.5/5 ¢

One of the best end credits ever. Rarely do I actually care about what's happening in the background behind the names, but here I was devastated.

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Showing 1-10 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 14, 2011 4:16:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2012 1:38:52 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2011 5:58:22 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2011 7:13:15 AM PDT
These days' movies are marketed to American teenagers. This is why the level of intelligence is plummeting like a pebble in a pond!

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 11:46:39 AM PDT
ANGELA says:
yes I think that this movie was very amazing and that the wonders of this movie was brillant and that the doctor's who studied this adventures should really try it on people with altimers. I really like the movie so well when it do come out on dvd i will buy it right away because it's a good movie to watch over and over again and learn new things about apes, sometimes i wish i had did a study on apes myself.

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 5:27:13 PM PDT
Karris says:
Good review! Not sure how all these reviews got here when the movie is still in the theater, but glad they are. This was a great film, worthy of the Planet of the Apes title.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2011 7:31:41 PM PDT
The reviewers went to the theater - saw the movie - then wrote a review here on amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 4:44:48 AM PDT
Sean Bell says:
"because real chimpanzees do not feel sad, as they do not have consciousness and neither do they posses faces, like we do. Chimps, and all other animals, have front of heads, this is why they all look the same you see."

I think this is the most ridiculous thing I've read on amazon this week. Obviously you've never spent any time around chimps... or gathered proper intelligence about them.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 4:51:43 AM PDT
Sean Bell says:
"The reviewers went to the theater - saw the movie - then wrote a review here on amazon. "

I think you missed Karris' point... How is it that there are reviews about a BLU-RAY that isn't out yet? Yes, the movie may be in theaters, but the product fitting under the description is not. Which makes all these reviews ridiculous as it's impossible to assign an entire product a rating based on just the film alone. There are other things to take into consideration such as packaging, additional content (deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes, etc), and quality of the film as transferred to this media. Amazon shouldn't allow advanced reviews of blu-ray/dvd/other movie media... Sites like rotten tomatoes are more appropriate for this sort of thing.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 5:32:16 AM PDT
Russ Nickel says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 5:33:39 AM PDT
Russ Nickel says:
As much as I agree with you, it's partly one of those things where everyone does it, so if you want to try to succeed on Amazon you have to review as quickly as possible.

Another, less cynical spin is that Amazon links the instant streaming, dvd, and blu-ray reviews so that the same review applies to all of them. As long as that's the case, it doesn't really seem like you're reviewing the specific product.
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