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, I hope this is timely information.

For that reason, my reviews never go deeply into the plot, in order to avoid "spoilers." Watch the trailer if you want--you probably saw it on TV anyway, but I make no warranty that it won't contain such 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.

What did YOU think?

Did you see the entire series of the "Apes" movies?

  • Yes--I loved them all
  • Yes, but I didn't think all of them were as good as the first
  • No--that's not my kind of movie
  • What? Not another "pre-quel?!"
  • I've seen this, and thought it was the best of them all.
  • I saw it, and hated it.
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Comments 6 comments

Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

This is timely for my household, Ms. Lizzy. My hubby saw this movie a few months back and is trying to get me to watch it through Blockbuster/DISH. I did like Roddy MacDowell in the old movies. Anyway, I find your review helpful. As far as movies go, me and the hubby are tasteless moviegoers. Give us a barrel of heart-stopping, buttered popcorn, and we like everything. Voted up!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Thanks, Arlene--glad I was able to provide a timely assist. Thanks so much for the vote..and save me some popcorn, will ya? ;-)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi Lizzy, this is a very interesting hub and very useful as I was in two minds whether or not to buy/rent the DVD? So I might have a go and watch it.

I loved the original - anything with Charlton Heston was usually pretty good. My take on the original film was that it was a parallel universe or he had been put into some kind of suspended animation. But that still leaves a lot of gaps. Still the movie was a good one.

I hope it never comes true though, as one of the main reasons given for the rise of the apes was that a virus killed all our dogs and cats off and so people resorted to buying apes as pets! Sorry, but as close as we might be genetically to our wonderful ape and monkey species, I still much prefer my four-legged friends as companions! At least at 3 years old - unlike a 3-year old chimp - they're not capable of ripping your arms out of their sockets!!

Great hub, really enjoyed this. Voted up!!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hi there, Seeker--

Well, without introducing spoilers, I can tell you that the new film has nothing to say about eliminating our kitty and doggy friends. It's a whole other ball game that gives rise to the apes. ;-)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, This is also very timely for me as I am going to rent the DVD this week. I think it looks really good, and when I first saw the advert for it I must admit that I wondered if the graphics were going to be less than perfect, but it does look good after taking a longer peek. Let me clear up the confusion of the first film. When Charlton Heston went out into space he got caught up in a wormhole and shot straight into the future, so when he found the ruins of the statue of liberty, he was in fact 3 or 4 hundred years in the future, okay? great review, can't wait to watch it now!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hi, Nell--

Thanks for clearing that up--I had totally forgotten about the wormhole. Too many years since I saw the original... ;-)

Thanks for stopping by, and I'm pleased to be able to offer timely advice. ... Cheers!

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