The tag-line of the movie "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is......"Evolution becomes Revolution". And it couldn't be more accurate. If and when you decide to see "Rise of the Apes" be prepared. It's action packed, full of energy and you can't tear your eyes away from the screen. But it's also brutal, violent, quite depressing and sad at times. I was amazed at the quality of production and just how "life-like" the chimps, apes and orangutans were. You feel as though what you are witnessing is real and while that is very impressive, the movie can be hard to watch if you are an animal lover. Without giving away too much, I will say I wasn't prepared for how intense the movie would be and the emotions I would feel watching it. Let's just say I didn't root for the humans. They don't deserve it.
This movie is considered a prequel to all of the Planet of the Apes movies we know. I have a feeling there may be sequels coming down the pike and if any of them are half as good as this movie is, that would still be a pretty great movie. This film follows a man named Will Rodman (played by the talented James Franco), who's father has Alzheimer's. Will's father is played by the amazing John Lithgow. Will wants to help his father and tries to come up with a cure to Alzheimer's at the lab he works at. They test or "experiment" with this "cure" on the monkeys at the lab and Will discovers that the compound rebuilds damaged tissue and also increases intelligence. The Chimp that is experimented on plays a small but important role. She ultimately gives birth to the Monkey of all Monkeys. His name is Caesar. Caesar genetically inherits super-intelligence from his mother. Certain situations occur that cause Will to take baby Caesar and bring him home to live with both himself and his ailing father. Caesar learns sign language, bonds deeply with the ailing father, shows plenty of emotion and can solve puzzles faster than many of us. But Caesar grows stronger and older and his role as a chimp living in the human world doesn't work out well for him and Caesar is taken to an "animal sanctuary". But it's more like the depths of hell. The animal sanctuary scenes are the most difficult to watch and it's a big chunk of the movie. The chimps, orangutans and ape at the sanctuary are neglected, abused and tortured and live in cages with walls of concrete. They get just a few minutes every day in a play room and they are only given slop for meals. I was overcome with emotion and couldn't stop watching the awful scenes but I really wanted to. But Caesar has a plan and it's a big one. There will be a revolt and he is the leader. When Caesar realizes his power and his intelligence, it is a powerful moment. There is also a scene so heart-wrenching, everyone in the entire theater fell silent. But these apes rise up and plan to escape the cruel world they live in to find a home with trees and sunlight.
Do they escape and find the peace and freedom that they deserve? Or will they die trying? I won't say. You'll have to see the movie yourself. But please see it. And you might want to bring a tissue with you.