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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Postby Deathlok » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:46 pm

Saw this a while back and I think it has to be one of the best films I have seen this year.

The special effects while fantastic are appropriate to the story and never used "in your face"
Acting is well done and the scenes with John Lithgow suffering from dementia are touching.
The story itself, while obviously science fiction, is told as realistically as possible and we the audience are not treated as idiots or that we all suffer with ADD and are unable to follow a scene for more than 15 seconds.

Andy Serkis moves wonderfully as Caesar, and the emotion we can see through the eyes are simply amazing.

A full synopsis of the movie follows. Do not read if you have not seen the film, it contains numerous spoilers.

Three chimpanzees are captured in an African jungle from their group by poachers and shipped to San Francisco. Will Rodman, played by James Franco, is a scientist at Gen-Sys, a pharmaceutical company who has been trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer's by testing a genetically engineered drug on chimps. The drug mutates the chimpanzees, giving them a human level of intelligence. The most successful subject, a female chimp named Bright Eyes, played by Terry Notary, goes on a rampage because she believes her baby, to whom she secretly gave birth, is threatened; she is killed disrupting a board meeting where Will is presenting the cure. Will's boss Steven Jacobs, played by David Oyelowo, orders the handler to kill all the test chimpanzees. Franklin cannot bring himself to kill the baby chimp and instead gives him to Will.

Will's father Charles, played by John Lithgow, names him Caesar and Will raises him in his house. Caesar has inherited his mother's high intelligence and learns and develops quickly. After three years, Caesar has outgrown his surroundings. One day, after frightening their neighbour Hunsiker's children and earning a cut on his leg in the process, Will takes Caesar to San Francisco zoo where primate expert Caroline Aranha treats his injuries and is impressed how Will taught him to communicate through signing. When she suggests that Caesar needs more open space, Will begins to frequently take Caesar to the redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument, but after an encounter with a family's German Shepard, his intelligence begins to sour him to his status as a human "pet". Meanwhile, Will and Caroline have begun a relationship.

Five years later, a desperate Will tests a sample of his cure on his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. At first, his father improves, but eventually his immune fights off the virus and the dementia returns. A confused Charles attempts to drive Hunsiker's car and damages it, causing Hunsiker to lose his temper. As he threatens Charles and pushes him to the ground, the onlooking Caesar attacks him. Caesar is forcibly removed from Will's house and held in the San Bruno Primate Sanctuary run by John Landon, where the apes are treated cruelly by the chief guard, Landon's son Dodge. Caesar is treated poorly by both the staff and, initially, the other apes. However, Caesar also meets Maurice, a circus Bornean orangutan who knows sign language and can thereby communicate with Caesar. When Dodge brings unauthorized visitors into the facility, one of them gets too close to Caesar's cage and is grabbed by Caesar, who steals a pocket knife which he uses to unlock and escape from his cell. Caesar then frees a gorilla, named Buck, kept in solitary confinement. with his grateful assistance, Caesar gains dominance over the other apes by beating Rocket, the formerly dominant chimpanzee.

Meanwhile, Will creates a more powerful form of the virus to resume treating his father, and an excited Jacobs clears its testing on chimpanzees. Results from treating a bonobo named Koba reveal that it strengthens the intelligence of the apes even further. However, unbeknownst to the scientists, it is fatal to humans; Franklin is exposed to the new virus and begins sneezing blood. Attempting to contact Will at his home, he accidentally sneezes on Hunsiker, and is later discovered dead in his apartment. Will attempts to warn Jacobs against further testing but, when Jacobs refuses, Will quits his job with Jacobs noting that his resignation will not affect the experimentation process.

After Charles' death, a determined Will bribes the elder Landon into releasing Caesar into his custody; to his shock and dismay, Caesar refuses to leave with him. Later, Caesar escapes from the ape facility on his own and returns to Will's house, where he steals canisters of the new virus and releases it throughout the cage area, enhancing the intelligence of all his fellow apes. It is also announced at this time through a television broadcast that a manned shuttle 'Icarus' has entered the Mars atmosphere and that enough water was discovered on the planet to support life. Later the apes put into motion their escape plan and when Dodge attempts to intervene, Caesar easily beats him down, and gains the ability to talk, shocking Dodge and the other apes. As Dodge tries to attack them, Caesar electrocutes and inadvertently kills him by spraying him with a hose as he holds his stun stick. (In contrast, Caesar halts the apes from beating a more sympathetic guard and leads him to the safety of a cage.) The liberated apes storm the city and release the remaining apes from Gen-Sys, as well as the entire ape population from a zoo. (There is also a scene which shows a "Lost In Space?" newspaper headline, which suggests that the Icarus is the ship which travels through time to the original 'Planet of the Apes' if the original plot-line is adhered to.)

The apes then force their way past a blockade on the Golden Gate Bridge, utilizing its thick mist as a visual shield. Caesar specifically orders his apes to refrain from killing disarmed police; however, Jacobs arrives in a helicopter from which a door gunner begins shooting apes, specifically targeting Caesar at Jacobs' behest. The orangutans are led by Maurice, some of the chimps on the ground by Rocket, the gorillas are led by Buck, and most of the chimps on the rails by Koba. Buck saves Caesar from getting shot, and sacrifices himself by leaping onto the helicopter, which crashes onto the bridge, killing everyone inside except Jacobs and leaving the helicopter at the very edge of the bridge. Jacobs begs for Caesar's help, but he walks away, permitting Koba to push the helicopter into the bay below. The apes escape into the redwood forest; Will arrives in a stolen police car and is attacked by Koba, but Caesar stops him. Will warns Caesar that in the forest humans will hunt them down, but that he can protect him if he returns home. Caesar, now capable of speech, gently tells him that he is home along with his fellow apes. The ending scene shows the apes Caesar, Rocket, Maurice, and others standing upright, then climbing to the top of the redwood trees, looking over the San Francisco bay.

In the post-credit sequence, Hunsiker, an airline pilot, arrives at work infected by the virus. The scene zooms onto a filled flight-status display board emphasizing New York, then fades into a stylized flight map animated with blooming trajectories throughout the world, implying the spread of a global pandemic.
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