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

rise of the planet of the apes theatrical movie poster

“Caesar shows cognitive skills that far exceed that of a human counterpart. The drug in his system has radically boosted healthy brain functions.”
– Will Rodman

SYNOPSIS: A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives rise to a super-intelligent chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising. – via IMDB

GRADE 8This was something I was dead set against watching. Hell, my other half damn near strapped me to the couch to force me to watch it, and my entire opinion of the Planet of the Apes franchise was changed… well, not the franchise maybe, but certainly the new direction and reboot. I regret not seeing it in cinema because this is something worth seeing on the big screen, and the years have passed with me getting progressively more excited for the sequel.

I enjoyed the cast, the concept, the CGI, Caesar (that goes without say), and the story. It was well paced, never leaving you confused or wondering what the hell had happened. Seeing how Caesar came to live with Will was great, he was adorable, and it was amazing how much he helped Charles become more stable. The psychology behind Caesar’s intelligence and desire to make new connections and all was also completely believable and understandable. The ties between Will, Charles and Caesar is very sweet, they bond together in the closest for of family.

Andy Serkis delivered another grand performance for his motion capture repertoire, and truly dominates in this role. Tom Felton seems destined to play the jackass forever more since his stint as Draco Malfoy, and he was really so reprehensible in here. Ugh. Brian Cox returns once again as a villainous character, also very unlikable. It was terribly sad, getting the testing portrayal from the chimpanzee’s side, and was well crafted.

The score worked wonders, too. Caesar being separated from caring family and thrown to the wolves, so to speak, it difficult, but it is fantastic to see the ape grow, to create ties with his own kind, to see his similarities with them as well as where they differ. I really liked the friendship he and Maurice had with one another, it was sweet. This is one of those films that really needs to be seen, it is exceptionally well done, and will draw in just about any viewer.

41 thoughts on “Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

    1. Thanks Chris! It is a real good one, definitely not at all what you expect it to be, which is a surprise. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much! 😀


  1. Great review! Glad you liked it. When I first saw it I had no intention to watch it. I love the Planet of the Apes franchise but the Tim Burton remake left a bad taste in my mouth. Watched this version and was surprised how brilliant it was. Haven’t seen the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but rest assured I cannot wait to see it!


    1. 🙂 Thanks Kelechi. I had no intention of watching it initially either. I am so glad I reconsidered that. Oh gosh, that Burton one SUCKED so much!

      Ooooh, I hope you get to it, it is well worth the watch!


    1. Thank you ever so kindly Keith! Oh yes, the slew of useless remakes is relentless. This one held up really well for me, especially considering my scepticism.


  2. Dearest JB,

    😦 I didn’t love it 😦 But I have never been a fan of this franchise. Give me Lawless!!




    1. Dearest PSC,

      I know you didn’t 😦 But that is okay, you loved Lawless, so all is still alright in the world!

      But yeah the franchise sucks.




  3. I was totally disinterested in this before I watched it but it’s really engaging mostly because of Serkis’ awesomeness. Have you seen the new one yet?


  4. Like you, I have been dead set against seeing this movie. Or its sequel. But the overwhelmingly positive buzz both receive makes me reconsider that conviction.

    Especially since even you liked it so much.


    1. I regret having missed this is theatre and only having seen it a few months after its release on DVD. It was exciting, thrilling, and very well put together. The sequel even more so.

      I would love to hear what you think of them.


  5. Great review Zoe! Ha, interesting that you were so dead set against watching it yet it won you over in the end. I wasn’t all that interested in it before either but I was very impressed by it too. I really like the sequel too, absolutely fantastic and quite emotional as well. Hail Caesar!


    1. Thank you Ruth! It seems this film won over quite a few doubters hehe. Caesar is by far a fantastic character, and Serkis really brought him to life wonderfully.


    1. Hi Adam! Ah, this movie really did tons in terms of winning me over, and it was great. Finally saw Dawn over the weekend, it was… wow!


    1. 😀 Thank you very much. I made sure to watch this one again. I like watching new movies after a rewatch of the previous ones. I like to be fresh for it all.

      Maybe I should try the old ones again :/


  6. Excellent review! Yeah, this film totally took me by surprise. Definitely the breath of fresh air the franchise needed. Guess they just needed the right technology, huh?


    1. 🙂 Thanks! I think that there is a lot with the sci-fi reboots that the new technology is fixing, though the concepts were revolutionary at the time.


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