RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. 2011. DIRECTED BY RUPERT WYATT. STARRING JAMES FRANCO, FREIDA PINTO, JOHN LITHGOW, BRIAN COX, TOM FELTON, DAVID OYELOWO AND ANDY SERKIS. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is an American science fiction movie which I half-loved, half-hated. During the laboratory-slash-sciencey bits, I was all like: ‘Boring…!’ When the monkeys were on-screen, however, I was all like: ‘Aw, that is precious… Aw, precious little monkeys...!’ A typically female reaction, you say? Well, perhaps. I’m only human, after all.
The plot, greatly simplified by my non-scientific brain, is as follows. Good-looking scientist Will Rodman works for a biotechnology company. Is it relevant to the plot that he is easy on the eye? Not as such, no, but it makes for sexier viewing. He tests different drugs on chimpanzees to find a cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, an ailment from which his own dear old dad, played by John Lithgow, is suffering.
Long story short, Bright Eyes, the chimp on which the drug is being tested, goes on an out-of-character rampage that results in Bright Eyes being put down and her baby son being taken home and cared for by Will, who loves the little guy like he’s his very own nipper. He and his Pops call their new house-guest Caesar and we see Caesar growing up to be a fine, upstanding young chimpanzee.
There’s trouble a-brewing, though, when Caesar attacks a neighbour of the Rodmans’ who is threatening poor old Daddy Rodman. The family pet finds himself hauled off to a primate shelter where he is bullied by sneaky little Draco Malfoy, aka Tom Felton in pretty much the same role as he played at Hogwarts.
Will, meanwhile, is continuing to develop his intelligence-enhancing drug with mixed results. His father dies after being treated with it. An employee who becomes exposed to the drug dies too. Oh dear. Looks like it’s back to the drawing-board for Professor Handsome…
In an unexpected plot twist, Caesar the chimp gets hold of some gas canisters containing the drug and treats his fellow primate prisoners with it, sending their intelligence levels through the roof. When the angried-up apes decide that they’ve had enough of being banged up and treated like muck, there’s not going to be a whole lot that their human oppressors can do about it…
The apes, in particular Caesar who is played by Andy GOLLUM Serkis, are the stars of this film which won a slew of awards for special effects, among other things. It’s not my favourite genre of film, this science fiction malarkey, but RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is actually a pretty good movie for what it is, which is as part of a rebooting of the original PLANET OF THE APES series of films from the ’60s and ’70s.
I’m probably going to be mauled by all the science fiction fans out there who are appalled by my deliberate dumbing-down of the sciencey element of the film, but what can I say? Science was never my strong point. I’m really more of a creative type…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: