Essay About Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Movie Review

The Beginnings

The Planet of the Apes, originally filmed in 1968, is familiar to most of us. We recognize the shock and disbelief of Taylor, (played by Charlton Heston in the original film), at finding himself on the other side of the cage, with apes being the dominant species, and surprised at his ability to speak.

We cringe with him, near the end of the film, coming upon the half-buried remains of the Statue of Liberty on a distant beach.

There followed four sequels, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in 1970; Escape from the Planet of the Apes in 1971; Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in 1972; and Battle For the Planet of the Apes in 1973.

Each of these films followed only the original theme of a planet upon which apes had become the dominant species, but each raised questions that remained unanswered.

A Very Long Gap

Fast-forward to 2011, thirty-eight years after the last of the original series, and we arrive at Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This film is the prequel–the answer to all the questions raised in the previous films.

The main question, being, “How did this happen?” is answered in “Rise.”

For starters, the concept as put forth in the original film is flawed. Supposedly, Taylor is an astronaut who crash-lands on some distant planet. Hmmm… well, then, how did the Statue of Liberty get on that beach?

Perhaps it was less “some other planet” than a parallel universe situation? We’ll probably never know.

The Answer

In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the questions raised by the first five films are well answered. Almost all the question, that is. They never quite reconcile that bit about “another planet” having the same landmarks, topography and locations as found here on Earth.

In any event, the Rise movie shows a very modern facility in which assorted medical experiments are being carried out. As a vehement opponent of using other sentient beings for such research, I was not comfortable with this part of the story. However, as the film progresses, it turns into an excellent lesson of exactly why this is the wrong thing to do.

A Belated Review?

This movie was released in 2011, and by December, was released to DVD. Many folks have probably already seen it in the theaters, but for those who, like my husband and I, wait for the DVD, they may yet not have seen this movie.

For that reason, my reviews never go deeply into the plot, in order to avoid “spoilers.”

In Conclusion

This was a very well-done film, enjoyable from the aspect of the plot and story line as well as the special effects and stunts. The action was blended so seamlessly that the only way you could tell you were not looking at a real event during the major conflict scenes was your own common sense.

It was impossible to tell whether these effects were done with models or stunt personnel and blue-screen action, and superimposed upon computer scenery. Maybe someone with that kind of technical background would be able to make the determination–I could not.

It has been nominated for three different awards, all for best supporting actor.

Overall, this was a great adventure, and well done. As I said, the main question from the earlier films is answered, leading the viewer to be more sympathetic to the apes.

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