OK for kids 13+
Occasionally violent origin story is surprisingly good.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this origin story is less sci-fi and more relationship drama, making it a surprisingly equal-opportunity choice for teens and parents. There's not much language, sexuality, or drinking, but the animal-human violence gets intense in the second half of the movie. Humans are afraid of the apes, so they shoot and poke them, and the threatened apes react defensively by smashing cars, throwing spears, pushing police officers off a bridge, and generally wreaking havoc on the Bay Area. There are a few pivotal death scenes for both species, but the movie's focus is less on the action and more on the nuanced question of how animals and humans can co-exist once there's no intelligence barrier.
- Families can talk about the ongoing popularity of remaking classic older films. What are some series that have outdone their predecessors? Which originals should never have been reimagined?
- How does the violence in this movie compare to other action/sci-fi movies you've seen? Does the fact that it involves animals give it more or less impact?
- Animals are usually depicted as our friends, but what do the apes want -- to rule the world, or just to be free from cages? How does the filmmaker portray Caesar and Will's relationship? Is Caesar a pet, a child, or something in between?
- For those familiar with the Planet of the Apes series, how does this compare to the original storyline? Do the changes make sense, considering technological developments since the '70s? Do you think there should be more?
The good stuff
Messages: There are some thought-provoking messages in the movie, especially the idea about whether it's questionable to test animals with drugs that could injure them if it's for the benefit of curing human diseases. Animal equality is brought up via both the character of Caesar, who's of superior intelligence to his human age-counterparts, and the misery of the apes held imprisoned in the animal shelter. Will's decisions to keep Caesar, give his father the experimental drug, and bribe an official show the moral ambiguity of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. The tension between the pharmaceutical industry's drive for profits versus the good of helping the sick is another major theme.
Role models: Despite keeping Caesar and giving his father drug-trial medicine illegally, Will is a hardworking visionary who wants to help cure diseases at work and comes home to take care of his ill father. He's not perfect, but he's disciplined, kind, and intelligent. Caesar himself is more "human" than some of the human characters. He's thoughtful, generous, and thinks everything through strategically. He only uses violence when threatened, as opposed to for sport.
What to watch for
Violence: In the opening scene, ape poachers are shown trapping apes in nets and chasing them with machetes and guns; shortly after that, a lab ape gets very aggressive with the scientists and is eventually shot and killed. The ape-versus-human violence is usually in retaliation for human-on-ape violence, and it includes apes grabbing and nearly breaking someone's hand, Caesar biting the hand of a neighbor who's pushing his owner, and apes fighting off police officers who surround and shoot them from a helicopter and the ground. The goriest scenes are of a man who's electrocuted (he's hosed down as he turns an electric stunning device on), a police officer who's thrown off a bridge by a gorilla, and a man plummeting into the water from a falling helicopter. An ape also dies protecting his leader. An elderly man succumbs to illness in his sleep, while a contaminated human dies from a strange virus.
Sex: A couple of sweet kisses and some flirting between Will and Caroline. They live together (it's not clear whether they're married), and they're shown in bed, but only sleeping.
Language: Language includes one use of "s--t," plus infrequent use of "hell," "ass," "goddamn," and "damn" (as in the famous line: "Get your damn paws off me, you damned dirty ape").
Consumerism: The only brand prominently featured is an Apple MacBook/desktop computer.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A primate shelter worker and his friend are shown with drinks in their hands.
Fan Reviews provided by
Best movie I've seen all Summer. Don't call it a remake. by LWatts
As a huge fan of the original Planet of the Apes franchise, I have been both eager and wary of this film. When I first saw the trailers, the wariness subsided; the effects looked outstanding and it appeared to be a fantastic treatment. I'm glad that they didn't lie. The effects for this film were outstanding, and never distracting, even though the CG apes were such a huge part of the entire film. It makes me wish they had waited to make I Am Legend until they could figure out how to do it right; that film would have been great without all of the cartoon vampire/zombies.
While this isn't a remake of the original Planet of the Apes, but a retelling of the incidents that led to said Planet ruled by Apes, it is closer to the story of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. I am glad to say that Rise is not a remake of either film, but an alternate story that does not retread the events of either; it provides an alternate, and more plausible story for how apes could one day overthrow us all.
See it for the CGI by pauleyt
Standard, tired plot, but makes you feel for families dealing with Alzheimer's. But the real draw is the CGI. The apes are very convincing, complete with emotion and depth. Not much action, but see it anyway.
Great Ape addition by rockydoggies
Too much CGI, but otherwise a great sci-fi movie and addition to the Ape series. I really liked the story and had a hard time breaking away from the movie to get some popcorn. The movie made me wonder if there are different points in the time line between each Ape movie or just alternate realities between the Ape movies. This newest Ape movie (2011) seems best to preclude the original Charlton Heston movie.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A- by MattH306
A well-developed story coupled with awesome special effects.
My Review on 8/7 by el_que_critica
This is short and to the point. Go watch this movie and if you have not seen it by now then be ready to rent this movie. I liked the original and even the one with Mark Whalberg in it. This version takes a completely different approach and I believe they nailed it. Really, its damn good in presentation, acting and visual. There are some unexpected scenes that really make this movie. Nothing disappointing for me; great entertainment value and story.
Rise of a Good Story by nidfar
Something often lacking in modern movies is any resemblance of a story when paired with an action movie. This flick did not fail the story side. You instantly connect with the characters you should, you feel for the humans and the apes as the dilemma unfolds, and you experience fully a range of emotions as one would expect in this kind of action drama. There was a definite sense of unease about the entire situation. And Andy Serkis as Caesar deserves an Oscar for his work in this movie. Overall, a great movie, moderate amounts of violence, nothing overtly objectionable to a conservative family. Go see this.
Awesome! by viviansweethart
I watched the trailer and knew it was going to be good and I was proven correct. The effects were great. It didn't hurt that the movie is located in the city i live in. The movie kept me interested the whole time. There were some parts that made me tear up. A couple of laughs here and there but mostly action packed scenes. This movie made me want an ape at first but then I got scared of them in the end. I would say this movie is suitable for teens and up.
Great Movie by TeamEdward1983
I saw the midnight showing of this movie, and I am very surprised that it was so good and that I liked it. I need to go back and see the first one, when I was a kid I saw the first one and hated it now I want to go back and see it I might like it now. Also, Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies is in it, he is a bad guy again, but he is a good actor.
RISE OF THR PLANET OF THE APES by mebanks
GOOD MOVIE! ACTION PACKED! GOOD STORY LINE!
good movie, good plot by promok
overall good movie. not big into all the computer graphics b/c they tend to get excessive and pretty unrealistic but the script was great as were the actors.