Martyn reviews: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

'Planet of the Apes', now I'm sure you've heard of it, is the classic featuring Charlton Heston with a strong feeling of isolation and xenophobia.

Now, it is not important however, to have watched the 1968 film to enjoy and understand the smash hit of the summer, yet the added context of the original does enhance the experience. However, Rise of the Planet of the Apes in my eyes, is where Hollywood gets it right. It literally takes what you expect from the story, and runs with it, beautifully.

The film follows scientist Will Rodman, brilliantly played by James Franco, as he struggles to come to terms with his father's Alzheimer's disease. The cure he works on is tested in the lab on chimps, and when the project is sabotaged, Will is left with the task of putting down a baby chimp.

Deciding instead that the life of the baby is his responsibility, he raises the chimp, called Caesar, at his home with his father.

Without divulging anymore information, I can tell you that the film took the conventions of the mainstream film, and just knocked it up a notch. The brilliantly told story of heartache and desperation told through both Will's and Caeser's eyes hits all the right spots. Its a brilliant, and somehow believable ordeal, with a cast of characters and narrative to really take you along with it.

The film's digital effects team work wonders on the animals, with close up shots of faces displaying stunning realism, which when mixed with the brilliant motion capture performance of Andy Serkis, you're treated with the suspension of disbelief.

All in all, without boring you any further with the details, the directing is spot on for the standard, the acting is brilliant, the story progresses beautifully, and the film is just a good, old fashioned, get your popcorn and watch romp, whilst retaining the important element of making the audience think.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, gets an 8/10 from me, and if you haven't watched it yet, I seriously recommend it.


Hello. I'm Martyn, a film student studying production at Cheltenham. I love films and want to make them for a living, but if not I guess I'll just die cold and alone. I love David Lynch's films (E