British film maker Rupert Wyatt made an attempt to bring the classic franchise 'Planet of the Apes' back to the cinema screeens. He managed that with this year's release 'The rise of the planet of the Apes' which for many months now was seen as one of the most eagerly anticipated summer time releases of the year. The film stars Oscar nominated actor James Franco (Spiderman, Milk and 127 hours) alongside the Indian beauty Frida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) with a supporting cast that included John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun) and Brian Cox (Xmen 2).
The film itself is set out to be a prequel to the popular franchise with the intention of taking us back in time to the origins of when human kind's dominance on earth started falling apart and apes begun taking over the planet. The movie is set in present day San Francisco, where a prominent bio medical research organization is trying to develop a cure for alzheimers disease and in the process they do their laboratory testing on apes prior to determing its suitability for human use. After a failed attempt at developing a cure, the lead character of Will Rodman played by Franco decides to adopt a surviving infant chimpanzee after all other test subjects were put down on company orders. As it turns out, the surviving infant chimpanzee is able to demonstrate skills and abilities beyond expectation. The rest of the story is pretty much predictible and does not have any twists and surprises to engage the audiences. The title was a bit of a mis match though, as this film does not depict as much an up rising by the apes, but rather the origins of where things started falling apart. Even by the end of the film we are yet to see a catastrophe of epic proportions which depicts human kind's destruction and earth's conquest by the apes. A more fitting title would have been 'Planet of the Apes: The Origins'.
Though Franco is a remarkable actor and showed a great deal of promise with films like Milk and 127 hours, his acting in this film left a lot to be desried. The same can be said about Frida Pinto, the star of Slumdog Millionaire is yet to impress global audiences with her acting abilities. None the less this movie does manage to give her the much needed exposure that is required in Hollywood. The animation, graphics and special effects also left a lot to be desired. Most of the apes seen in the movie are a product of CGI animation, as opposed to Tim Burton's attempt at the franchise where the apes were played by actors wearing costumes and covered in hours of make up. One can saftely assume the use of CGI was due to the complex nature of working with animals, how ever with over reliance on CGI it managed to deprive the film of a personal touch which one comes to expect from a visit to the cinema. If a sequel is to follow, one can hope for an improved film viewing experience.