Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
Plot: A substance, designed to help the brain repair itself, gives rise to a super-intelligent chimp who leads an ape uprising.
This movie starts with poachers chasing chimps through the jungle. A real uplifting start to the new series. We then jump to America, where Will Rodman, (James Franco) a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer's. They're watching a test subject, dubbed "Bright Eyes", who has been given one injection and scored remarkably high on an intelligence test. The drug is ready to go to human trials. At the same time, it appears to cause aggression issues, as seen by Bright Eyes trying to rip a dude's arm off and escaping. All of this is going on while Franco is trying to sell the human trials to investors. Security has to shoot and kill Bright Eyes.
The boss wants all the chimps put down. As it turns out, Bright Eyes had a baby. She wasn't being aggressive. She was being protective. Will takes the baby home, where his father with Alzheimer's lives. Caesar, named by Franco's father, has the same green flakes in his iris that his mother had from the meds. Three years later, little dude is smart as shit. By age two, he was completing puzzles made for eight year olds. During this time, Will's father's Alzheimer's has progressed. Franco begins taking the shot from home to give to his father. With just one treatment, he is back to his old self. He's actually better than he was before he got sick. Meanwhile, Caesar jumps out of an open window in an attempt to play with neighborhood kids. He tries to fix the chain of a bike, but is attacked by the little girl's father.
Will sneaks Caesar into a zoo to get stitches from a vet. And there, Caesar plays a pitch perfect wing man and gets Will a date with the vet. That's pretty dope. You're a brilliant scientist, have a super smart chimp as your best bro, and he is your wing man. What a wonderful life. They take Caesar to the red woods so he can get some time to play. Five years later, this has become their thing. Caesar is now kind of a cockblock. He's jealous that this woman has become such a big part of Will's life. It's kind of your fault, man. You hooked them up. At this point, Caesar is having an existential crisis and wants to know if he's a pet and what/who he is. Franco explains it to Caesar and...the vet lady he's been banging for five years hasn't figured any of this out? She thought Caesar was just that smart naturally? Will kept all this shit to himself for five years? And do you know where he keeps all his research? Behind a folding door with no lock. In the middle of the house. She never once looked in that room? She lives there. She never even thought about entering the LIVING ROOM? Lol.
At some point, Charles has built up antibodies to the treatment and his Alzheimer's returns, now far more accelerated than it was before treatments. He gets out and wrecks the neighbor's car (the same neighbor that gave Caesar the cut for those stitches years ago). The neighbor gets all up in Charles' shit, and Caesar just can't take it anymore. He bolts from the house and unleashes some solid ground and pound. Dropkick! Neighbor tries to run. Caesar chases him down in a scene very similar to the reveal of the apes in the original. And then he bites the dude's finger. Caesar realizes he's fucked up. But he was just defending his grandpa. I mean, this dude was basically a second away from beating on an dude with Alzheimer's. Caesar did the right thing.
Now, I have some questions. Will obviously wasn't hiding Caesar. He dressed him in clothes and took him out on a leash. I have to assume all of his neighbors knew this dude had a pet chimp. I find it hard to believe that no one had called animal control or the cops on him until he bit that guy. Regardless, he now has to stay at a sanctuary, having never been around other chimps. And this place is already clearly bad. Cunty humans, angry, abused chimps. "It's a mad house! It's a maaaaad houuuuse!" A little too self-referential for my liking. Bright Eyes was fine. Dropping that line is just...a step too much. Caesar's treatment is similar to Taylor's treatment in the original.
I thought the abuse of clearly humans in makeup was a serious bummer, so you can imagine how shitty it is when the abuse is to super realistic looking apes. Will has begun work on a more aggressive form of the treatment, this time in aerosol form. The first test subject is with a new ape named Koba. During the test, Koba accidentally knocks the respirator off of one of the dudes.
Caesar's first day with the other apes does not go well when the alpha chimp attacks him. This shit is bumming me out again. One of the orangutans can sign and tells Caesar something. Will finally comes to visit and even though Caesar has obviously been abused, Will can't do DICK about it. He'll have to get a court injunction to get Caesar back.
This piece of shit handler dude brings in his buddies to get drunk and fuck with the apes. This is awful. What a horrible, horrible character. I hope he gets his dick bitten off. Caesar stole a knife from one of these dumb fucks and let himself out of his cage. His big plan is to let the gorilla out. And it appears this gorilla has never been let out of the cage. He also lets out the king shit chimp and uses the gorilla as his heavy to assert himself as the alpha. Caesar ain't fucking around. Within one night, he's completely changed how that place is run. In sweatpants. LIKE A DOCTA.
Charles passes. You know, Will should have whatever medical licenses he has revoked. It is HIGHLY unethical to just be testing shit on his dad like that. For years. Without human trials. Without any kind of legal permission. At Gen-Sys, Koba's tests have been so successful that the boss is going to expand the testing. The guy who breathed in the spray is now sneezing blood. Will quits the lab and comes to buy Caesar's freedom. Caesar won't go with him. Ice cold. He even turns his back to Will. To be fair, he's really sad about it, but he's got work to do. At night, he teaches the cunty chimp how to share cookies and treats with the rest of the gang. Again, while in sweat pants. Basically, what I'm telling you is that at night, Caesar runs shit. As he's communicating with Maurice the orangutann, Caesar breaks a stick, then bundles them together until he can no longer break them, because apes are strong together than as individuals. Now, whether Caesar did this as an intentional reference to the fasces of the Roman Republic is anyone's guess. He then gets free and goes home. After very creepily standing over Will's bed, he steals the virus and smoke bombs the sanctuary. He ain't fuckin' around, momos. He's leading his people to a higher plane of existence, brehs.
We later see Maurice teaching all the other apes sign language. Shit is on. Franklin has died from exposure to the spray. The chimps can handle it because their immune systems are much stronger than those of humans. One night, Caesar hangs out in the open area after hours. The shit head dude comes at him with a cattle prod. Caesar grabs his hand. "Take your stinkin' paw off me, you damn dirty ape!" Is this dude's whole function to be a shitfuck who says lines from the original? Beacuse that's what it seems like. "NOOOOOO!" Oh fuck. He can talk. The revolution has begun.
The other guy, who doesn't abuse the apes, gets pulled down. The chimps start pounding on him, but Caesar stops them. Shithead gets sprayed with the fire hose while trying to use the cattle prod. He's dead. All the apes are loose. They lead an assault on Geo-Sys and release the apes being tested on. Then they free the apes at the zoo. They're just straight up taking over the city. It's basically the scene from Conquest, minus the jumpsuits.
They take over the Golden Gate Bridge trying to get to the red woods. Mounted police come in and knock the shit out of them, but Caesar has tactics, man. LOU THESZ PRESS RIGHT HAND RIGHT HAND AUSTIN AUSTIN. Lol at this cop thinking a baton was going to do shit to a fucking gorilla. Yo, was that Johnny Cage? My man is a cop now? Is this some Steven Segal shit? Oh fuck now they can ride horses? It's OVER, humans. You done lost mother fuckers. Uh, Gorilla, what the fuck. Caesar said no killing. You think throwing a dude off the Golden Gate Bridge is acceptable? Said gorilla also jumped into a helicopter and made it crash and explode. He died for the cause. Basically an ape jihad. And Caesar lets Koba kill the Geo-Sys dude, so I guess his code is pretty flexible. Plus killed that guy at the sanctuary.
Hey, this forest looks familiar. Is it the one from The X-Files? Will tries to get Caesar to come home. "Caesar is home." Man, his diction and speaking skills have improved dramatically. I guess he did get the extra aggressive spray, so he's even smarter than he was before. This peaceful, upbeat ending is weird considering there is no way humans are going to not go into those woods and burn them down or blow them up to get rid of those apes. The only way you can really get a happy ending in this series is after the fall of man, when humans and apes end the war and decide to live together peacefully once and for all.
The credits show the virus spreading all across the world. All due to one guy getting sick and sneezing on a pilot. A great reboot to the series. Especially coming off of the GARBAGE of the Burton movie. The whole thing has a whole different feel when the apes are highly realistic apes instead of humans in makeup. Which makes all the humans being terrible to apes thing so much more depressing, something that was was really depressing even in the 1970s.
An ape is tested on, the mutated genes are passed on to the baby, and we go from there. That seems reasonable enough. More than "we flew through a time warp and now apes can talk and rule the world". The real story of this movie is, once again, that humans ruin everything. Even when they're trying to do something good. Such as Will trying to cure Alzheimer's. Well, that led to a hyper intelligent ape that led an uprising and led to the end of civilization. That, plus the dick heads at the sanctuary. That's all it took.
I did have some issues, but they're pretty easy to over look. Franco was sleep walking through the whole movie. The dick at the sanctuary with all the cutesy lines from the original. Once in a while, the animation on the apes looked too computery. Not that often, but when there would be a lot of apes all at once, the detail on them definitely went down. But 90% of the time, it was incredible. As good as Caesar looked, I think Maurice was the most impressive ape of the movie. At no point did that model not look amazing. Plenty of references to the originals, almost too many. That dude just dropping Heston lines was awful, but naming the first ape Bright Eyes, Caesar playing with a Statue of Liberty, a Heston movie on TV, the orangutan being named Maurice after the actor who plays Zaius, and the Icarus flight going missing in space were all nice. Really can't believe they did the "damn dirty ape" line. Again. That was the most groan inducing moment of the movie. Almost every character is named in someway after someone from the original, from writers and crew to actors. But still, it was pretty rad.
The biggest take away to me is how similar this was to Conquest. It's almost a remake. Super smart Caesar bands apes together, speaks, and then takes over the city using war tactics and weapons. The biggest difference is the lack of jumpsuits.