Film Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

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The first two-thirds of this movie are surprisingly good. I was expecting to see CGI monkeys go nuts for two hours (all of which is saved for the less interesting final act), but before then you get James Franco playing Dr Frankenstein and struggling with responsibility for his creation, a hyper-intelligent orphaned chimp named Caesar (reliably motion-captured by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings).

I like the odd family dynamic between Caesar, Franco, and his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father (John Lithgow). I also like how supporting primate characters are introduced and developed over the course of the film. At the end of act two, the movie actually has the potential for greatness. I would like to have seen a much darker, more tragic third act. Still, all in all, one of the better offerings from Hollywood during the summer of ’11.

Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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