Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2024)

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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (1)

Will Rodman, researching a cure for Alzheimer’s, takes home a baby chimpanzee after its mother — supposedly a failed experiment — is destroyed. Caesar, the chimp, exhibits near-human intelligence, and comes to question his kind’s place on a human planet.

by Kim Newman |

Published on

Release Date:

11 Aug 2011

Running Time:

105 minutes


Original Title:

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

The game-changing success of Star Wars tends to wipe away the memory of earlier science-fiction franchises, but before George Lucas signed with 20th Century Fox, the studio’s premier property was Planet Of The Apes. Based on La Planète Des Singes, a French novel by Pierre Boulle, the 1968 movie — a mix of Flash Gordon fantasy-action and comic-book Swiftian satire — spun off sequels (little-known trivia fact: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was a pre-production title for the last of the original series, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes), TV series, comics, lunch-boxes, masks, action figures etc.

Ten years ago, Tim Burton’s re-imagining updated the make-up and scrambled the twist ending but achieved little else; now, Rupert Wyatt – vaulting from the likable British crime movie The Escapist, whose star, Brian Cox, gets a meaty human role here — adds to the apes saga with essentially an alternative version of Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (the one where oppressed talking chimp Caesar leads his dumb brethren in revolt against “lousy human bastards”) that dovetails in neat, witty ways with the original films.

An early sequence in which the ape hero’s mother is hunted by humans with nets is an exact recreation of the capture of Charlton Heston from the first film, and key lines are repeated in new contexts (yes, that one — but also a one-word response given iconic presence in the sequels).

There’s even a missing space mission and a Statue Of Liberty, plus a nod to another simian-related apocalypse (12 Monkeys) along the way — though chimp-spotters might also notice thematic parallels with the Matthew Broderick vehicle Project X and — ahem — The Powerpuff Girls Movie. It’s likely to please the fans, but how does it rate on its own terms? In truth, it’s a little too ambitious in its drama. A powerful sub-plot featuring human hero James Franco’s relationship with his mentally fading father (John Lithgow) spells out a back story Deep Blue Sea got through in a few lines, and takes too much time away from the evolution of Caesar (truly remarkable CG modelled on Andy Serkis’ movements) from adored foundling to imprisoned martyr to revolutionary tactician.

Recalling The Simpsons’ Troy McClure (star of the musical Stop The Planet Of The Apes I Want To Get Off), the role of ‘the human’ in an Apes movie is awkward for anyone of lesser stature than Charlton Heston (ie: everyone). The well-intentioned Franco, the lovely Freida Pinto, a weaselly post-Malfoy Tom Felton (as the prime ape-abuser), corporate suit David Oyelowo and reliables Cox and Lithgow all work hard to compete, but Caesar and his gang — including a signing circus orangutan (named Maurice after Maurice Evans, the original Dr. Zaius), who cannily pretends not to be clever to get by in the ape internment centre — own this movie. At heart, it’s a making-of-a-rebel movie, like Malcolm X or The Motorcycle Diaries, only with its chimpanzee protagonist slipping from pampered privilege as a pet to suffering in prison, while dreaming of freedom from humans, and fighting, plotting and strategising his way to the top of the ape heap.

Only when Caesar gathers his posse of smart monkeys does the film get past sci-fi-inflected soap and politics to pull out the action stops. It takes a while to get there, but the Rise delivers the best set-piece finale of the summer: armed human cops take a stand against a newly intelligent ape army on the Golden Gate Bridge, doomed by two-dimensional human thinking in a battle with primates who can climb as well as charge.

A worthy, exciting, emotional addition to the venerable monkey movie marathon. Apes will rise. Sequels are likely.

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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2024)


What was the famous line from Planet of the Apes? ›

The quote from Planet of the Apes, "We are the beginning, the middle, and the end. One world ends, another begins. It always has," captures the cyclical nature of existence.

Why did Koba write Jacobs? ›

After the procedure, Koba shows off his newfound intelligence by writing Jacobs's name on a writing computer screen, taunting him while he plots his revenge. He is later freed from captivity by Caesar, and joins him in his attack on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Why did Koba shoot Ceasar? ›

Despite the successful repairing of the dam and the growing friendship between apes and humans, Koba, a bonobo, becomes disillusioned with Caesar after seeing his leader's compassion and respect for the humans. He shoots Caesar, framing the humans, and leads the apes into attacking the humans and their colony.

Why was Koba so smart? ›

After he was exposed to the ALZ-113 at Gen-Sys Laboratories by Will - and his team - who tested it on him, he became much more intelligent than before, though it was unknown how much his advanced intelligence and IQ had increased.

What did Taylor say at the end of Planet of the Apes? ›

Thinking he had landed on a distant planet, Taylor suddenly is confronted with the grim reality that he's actually journeyed to a future Earth decimated by warmongering humans. "You maniacs!" he screams. "You blew it up!"

What memorable line does Taylor first utter in the presence of the apes? ›

George Taylor: Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

Does Rocket know Koba killed his son? ›

In the film, no indication is given that; Rocket knew of his son's death, other than perhaps Blue Eyes telling him about his death after their escape from the school bus. In the DotPotA novelization, he does find out and this causes him to turn against Koba.

Why can only Caesar talk? ›

Speech: Due to his enhanced intelligence, Caesar had become the first apes in history to speak. In Rise, Caesar was shown to speak loudly his first word to Dodge and whispered to Will too. He later passed this on to his two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius. In Dawn, Caesar could speak partial sentences.

Is Blue Eyes Caesar's son? ›

Blue Eyes is the child of Caesar and Cornelia, a female ape that had been dosed with the ALZ-113 virus that led to the Simian Flu.

What apes have the highest IQ? ›

Chimpanzees are known to be the animal with the highest IQ.

Who is the strongest in Planet of the Apes? ›

Proximus Caesar is one of the strongest apes in the Planet of the Apes franchise and a genuinely intimidating villain, but he's too consumed by greed to live up to his valid arguments.

Who is the smartest ape in Planet of the Apes? ›

Intelligence is difficult to define, but by any measure, Caesar is definitely one of the smartest. He grew up with incredibly intelligent humans who taught him well. He was the first ape to speak, and he became the leader of an army as well as a tribe.

What is the final line beneath the Planet of the Apes? ›

The final scene is Taylor's hand on the detonator and as the screen goes white while a narrator says, "In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead."

What did Caesar say Planet of the Apes? ›

Caesar: I did not start this war. I offered you peace. I showed you mercy. But now you're here.

What are few lines about apes? ›

Apes are mammals that are a part of the order Primate along with monkeys. Apes are then divided into two separate families, the greater and lesser apes. The greater apes are the gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan, and are found in the family Hominidae along with humans.

What is the message of Planet of the Apes 1968? ›

“Planet of the Apes” emerged as a troubling movie for a troubling time. Most obvi- ously, the movie presented a chilling allegory on the subject of racial conflict, highlighting the injustices of America's slave past, while also speaking to the struggle for Civil Rights in the contemporary period.


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