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Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Better before the CGI took over
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 4, 2011

As I watched Caesar (Andy Serkis), the übermonkey, and his primate minions break free of their human chains en route to conquering the world, I thought: 1) there are a lot of apes in San Francisco, 2) there aren't a lot of cops, and 3) this movie was better before the CGI took over. So good that, digital technology aside, it still manages to achieve the mythic stature of the 1968 original. Director Rupert Wyatt reduces the story to the primal family unit, a potential paradise before the fall: Genesis, in other words — or "GEN-SYS," the name of the pharmaceutical corporation that Will (James Franco) works for. He's developing a cure for Alzheimer's, not to make the company money, but because his dad (John Lithgow) has it. Soft-hearted, he takes home Caesar, an orphaned test chimp, who proves the drug works, and then some. A girlfriend (Freida Pinto) rounds out the ménage. But it isn't beauty that ultimately kills their happiness, it's the beast — the beast within.

  Topics: Reviews , San Francisco, James Franco, film,  More more >
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