With a star-studded cast consisting of James Franco, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, and of course the master of motion capture acting Andy Serkis. Starting with Andy Serkis who is perhaps the greatest motion capture actor in the world today, with his portrayals of Caesar, Gollum, and now Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars universe. He depicts the main character of Caesar in such a humanistic way. That brings this ape down to earth with how he looks at people or how he gazes at apes in the beginning as if they’re a foreign species (even though to him they are). The remarkable aspect of this motion capture work is Caesar’s facial expressions throughout the film. In which the little facial expressions he shows reflect the deep, gripping internal conflicts were going on inside of him. As in the scene in which Caesar refuses to go with James Franco’s character, Will Rodman so that he can stay behind and lead the apes.
This shot sequence is done with a close-up, over the shoulder, and another close-up. We see Franco’s perspective with Caesar’s back turned to him and the saddened confusion of this situation begins to overwhelm his facial expressions. Then we cut to Caesar’s close up in which his expression shows a regretted loss of sorts. His illustrations reflect the fact that he didn’t want to say goodbye, but he had to show how torn he is about his past and his future. This may be in overly in depth analyzation of a blockbuster film consisting of apes overtaking the city, but it’s a movie that shows the effort made by the filmmakers who desire analyzation of their creation as every filmmaker should. The brilliance continues with the excellent depiction of the apes. These visual effects are illuminating and only at certain moments reflect an aged quality.
This character arc starts to wear thin though due to the lack of enticement and unfocused pacing from Rupert Wyatt. He paces all of the ape sequences very well with how he centers the focus and maintains interest in the surrounding monkeys. He fails to do this with the human characters, who begin to become a bit monotonous with their depictions. Another flaw centers around the first act that start to drag as well due to its unnecessary slow pacing. The pacing starts to become a bit of a drag due to the anticipation of watching these apes become an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. There is also some type casting with that of Tom Felton who begins to portray an Americanized “Draco Malfoy.” This characterization took me out of the film a bit while rewatching it before this review, but overall it doesn’t harm the movie that much. Rise of the Planet of the Apes continued to trudge along with some undeniably captivating filmmaking.
[bursting into Jacobs office]
Will Rodman: Chimp number nine. Just one dose.
Steven Jacobs: Aren’t I seeing you later?
Will Rodman: Were good to go.
[Jacobs finishes the telephone call he was on]
Will Rodman: One-Twelve, it works.
Steven Jacobs: On just the one primate.
Will Rodman: One is all we need. Full cognitive recovery. We’re ready.
Steven Jacobs: Look, are you sure you’re not rushing this?
Will Rodman: I’ve been working on this for five and a half years. The data is clear. We’re ready, Steven. All I need is your approval for human trials.
Steven Jacobs: Well, for this you’re gonna need the board’s approval. There’s a lot of money riding on this, Will. You only get one shot.
Will Rodman: One shot is all I need.
[giving his approval for Will to approach the board for approval of his research on humans]
Steven Jacobs: Alright. But I need to see all the research.
Will Rodman: You got it!
Steven Jacobs: And Will?
Will Rodman: Yeah?
Steven Jacobs: Keep your personal emotions out of it. These people invest in results, not dreams.
[giving his presentation to the board showing them footage of the chimp doing the puzzle]
Will Rodman: Meet chimp nine. Here she’s tasking at what is called the Lucas Tower, the object of which is to move the tower from peg to peg without placing a larger block on top of a smaller block. As expected she was unable to complete the puzzle at all. Then we gave her what we call; A-L-Z-One-Twelve. A gene therapy that allows the brain to create its own cells in order to repair itself. In Biology this is called neurogenesis. Here at Gen Sys, we call it the cure to Alzheimer’s.
[continuing his presentation to the board]
Will Rodman: We’re ready to move on to the next phase. Uh…human trials.
[continuing his presentation to the board]
Will Rodman: There have been absolutely no side effects associated with One-Twelve. With one exception; for some reason the chimp’s irises exhibit flex of green. Actually, we first noticed it in chimp nine. Uh…hence her nickname, Bright Eyes. You’ll see when we bring her in.
[continuing his presentation to the board]
Will Rodman: In theory, this therapy can be used to treat a wide range of brain disorders. It’s virtually limitless.
Steven Jacobs: As are the potential profits. Which is why we are confident that you will vote to approve human trials.
[suddenly Bright Eyes crashes through the glass walls of the meeting room]
[after Bright Eyes was shot dead due to the side effects of the drug]
Steven Jacobs: Look, it’ll cost a small fortune to run lab workups on all of those chimps, only to tell me what I already know. That they are contaminated.
Robert Franklin: There are lives at stake here. These…these are animals with personalities, with attachments.
Steven Jacobs: Attachments?
Robert Franklin: Yeah.
Steven Jacobs: I run a business, not a petting zoo! Find the most cost effective way to put those apes down.
Robert Franklin: I can’t do that.
Steven Jacobs: You’re the chimp handler. Handle it.
[referring to the board meeting going so wrong with Bright Eyes getting shot]
Steven Jacobs: Well, that was fun.
Will Rodman: They’ve taken the One-Twelve.
Steven Jacobs: Board have rejected your proposal. They’ve chosen to advance other programs.
Will Rodman: Well, there must be something that you can do.
Steven Jacobs: Yes, there is. I could fire you! Believe me, we talked about it.
Will Rodman: We have five years of conclusive data.
Steven Jacobs: Parade all the data you want. You will never convince anyone to invest another dime.
Will Rodman: This drug has the potential to save lives!
Steven Jacobs: To bankrupt this company more like! I swear, if you know everything about the human brain, accept the way it works. Go back to the drawing board on the One-Twelve. Start again in molecular development. Find a way to get there before someone else does. And clean up this mess.
[Will sees Franklin with a baby chimp wrapped in a blanket in Bright Eyes cell]
Robert Franklin: They carry small. She must have been pregnant when we brought her in.
Will Rodman: So that’s why…! She wasn’t being aggressive, she was just being protective?
Robert Franklin: She thought we were gonna hurt her baby.
[Franklin picks up the baby chimp]
Robert Franklin: I’d take him myself, but my brother-in-law works for security wrap me up a second.
Will Rodman: Uh…what, you want me to take it home? I can’t take care of a monkey.
Robert Franklin: He’s not a monkey! He’s an ape!
Will Rodman: Franklin, I…
Robert Franklin: Just…you know, it’s just for a couple days, until I find a sanctuary. That’s all I need.
Will Rodman: Franklin, no! Look, this isn’t my responsibility. This is…this is company property.
Robert Franklin: Okay. I tell you what, doc. Jacobs made me put down the other twelve. I’m done.
[he holds up the syringe and puts it on the table]
Robert Franklin: Be my guest.
[he walks out of the lab]
Charles Rodman: Today’s the day, right? You thought I’d forget. You have a big test today, right? Chemistry.
Will Rodman: Hey, dad. Wanna see something?
Charles Rodman: What?
[we see them opening a box with the baby chimp inside with a small scar on his chest]
Charles Rodman: What is that? Is…is he injured?
Will Rodman: No. I think that’s a birth mark.
[referring to the baby chimp taking the baby bottle and feeding himself]
Charles Rodman: Will, look at this! How old is he? Like, a day old? Two days old?
Will Rodman: Yeah.
Charles Rodman: Oh, he’s a smart one, isn’t he? What are you gonna name him?
Will Rodman: I…I don’t know.
Will Rodman: [voice over] Right away Caesar displayed signs of heightened intelligence. So, I kept him and brought my work home. By eighteen months, Caesar was signing up to twenty four words. By age two, Caesar was completing puzzles and models designed for children eight years and up. At age three, Caesar continues to show cognitive skills that far exceed that of his human counterpart. He completes the Lucas Tower in fifteen moves. A perfect score.
[recording his voice]
Will Rodman: I maintain my hypothesis that A; the green in his eyes indicates that the A-L-Z-One-Twelve has passed genetically from mother to son. And B; that in the absence of damaged cells that need replacing, the drug in his system has radically boosted healthy brain functioning. And he plays chess pretty well.
[the day after Will has given ALZ-112 drug to his father]
Charles Rodman: Something amazing has happened!
Will Rodman: I’ll need a blood test. A scan. And the dosage will have to be carefully monitored.
Charles Rodman: Will!
Will Rodman: Now, if I can sneak some stuff…
Charles Rodman: Will, I’m not sick anymore!
Will Rodman: It’s nothing, dad.
Charles Rodman: Caesar. Where’s Caesar? I wanna see him.
[to Caroline, as she’s treating Caesar for his wounds]
Will Rodman: He likes you.
Will Rodman: Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon and then we can go get a treat. I’m thinking ice cream.
[Caesar does a sign in response]
Will Rodman: Good idea.
Caroline Aranha: You taught him to sign?
Will Rodman: Just a handful of things. Basic stuff.
[Caesar does another sign]
Caroline Aranha: What’s he saying?
Will Rodman: Um…nothing. Um…so…so when do you think we should come back?
Caroline Aranha: Well, you won’t need to come back. Because um…the stitches are dissolvable. I would just say watch out for signs of infection. Fever, redness.
[Caesar does another sign]
Caroline Aranha: Okay, what’s he saying now?
Will Rodman: Um…well, he thinks that you and I should have dinner together.
[referring to Caesar as he plays and jumps around in his room]
Caroline Aranha: So what’s your secret?
Will Rodman: Oh, I can’t take any credit. It’s in his genes.
Caroline Aranha: You’re being very modest. He’s pretty amazing. I think you’ve…you’ve built a pretty good home for Caesar here.
Will Rodman: But?
Caroline Aranha: Now, he won’t stay this way for long. He’s gonna soon grow into a large powerful animal.
Caroline Aranha: I love chimpanzees. I’m also afraid of them. I know it’s inappropriate to be afraid of them.
[Caesar jumps on Will]
Will Rodman: He’d never hurt anyone. He’s happy here.
Caroline Aranha: Yeah, I can see that.
[to Caesar as he takes his leash off to let him play in the woods]
Will Rodman: If I take this off, you cannot leave my sight. I’ll never find you again. Okay.
[Caesar holds up his hand]
Charles Rodman: What’s this?
Will Rodman: What’s he doing?
Caroline Aranha: I don’t believe that!
Will Rodman: What?
Caroline Aranha: He’s asking your permission. It’s a supplicating gesture.
[she takes Will’s hand and runs it across Caesar’s hand]
Caroline Aranha: It’s okay.
[seeing Caesar is upset]
Will Rodman: You okay, pal?
[Caesar replies by signing]
Will Rodman: Are you a pet? No. You’re not a pet.
[Caesar signs again, asking a question]
Will Rodman: I’m your father.
[Caesar signs another question]
Will Rodman: What is Caesar?
[Will takes Caesar to the Gyn Sys building]
Will Rodman: Caesar, this is where I work. This is where you were born. Your mother was here with other chimpanzees. But she’s not here anymore. So, that’s why I took you home to live with me.
[Caesar signs, asking Will if his mother is dead]
Will Rodman: Yeah. You’re mother’s dead. The thing is, she was given medicine. Like the medicine I give to Charles. She passed it on to you. That’s why you’re so smart.
Caroline Aranha: Explain it to me.
Will Rodman: Alright. I snuck him out of the labs to save his life. I had no idea that the effects had been transferred vertically from his mother. But since then he’s been displaying incredible signs of intelligence. I designed the One-Twelve to repair. But Caesar’s gone way beyond that. Here’s his IQ from last year. Since then, its doubled.
Caroline Aranha: This is wrong, Will.
Will Rodman: My father was gone. This drug brought him back. You never saw how bad he was. He has his life again.
[after finding out the truth about how Caesar is so intelligent]
Caroline Aranha: And what about Caesar?
Will Rodman: What about him?
Caroline Aranha: Where does he fit in?
Will Rodman: With me. With us.
Caroline Aranha: Listen, I know it’s been hard, but you’re trying to control things that aren’t meant to be controlled.
Will Rodman: The One-Twelve works.
Caroline Aranha: Do you realize how you sound?
Will Rodman: All I’m saying is that this is a good thing. Caesar’s proof of that. So is my father.
[speaking into a recorder; referring to his father]
Will Rodman: Antibodies. His system has found a way to fight the One-Twelve virus so that it can’t deliver its therapy. My father’s disease is going to return with a vengeance.
[Caesar has been taken into Animal Control for attacking one of the neighbors thinking he was saving Charles from harm]
Will Rodman: He hasn’t spent any time with other chimps.
John Landon: Oh, we’re used to that. He’ll be a little skittish at first, but we’ll integrate him. You’d be surprised how quickly they adapt. We provide a stimulating environment. He’s gonna thrive here.
[to Caesar through the glass walls of his cell]
Will Rodman: You’re gonna stay here now.
[Caesar signs asking if he can go home]
Will Rodman: No. You’re not going home right now.
[Caesar bangs on the glass wall]
Caroline Aranha: It’s okay.
John Landon: The longer you drag out the goodbyes, the harder it is.
[Landon gives him the forms to sign]
Will Rodman: Can I just sign that later?
John Landon: You’ll probably miss him more than he’ll miss you. Best give him a couple of weeks to get used to the place.
[making a recording]
Will Rodman: [voice over] My father’s immune system continues to reject the One-Twelve virus. Rendering the gene therapy obsolete. His health is deteriorating and the disease is progressing rapidly. I need a more aggressive virus strain. A faster delivery method, because at this rate…
[to Caroline; referring to his father and Caesar]
Will Rodman: I can’t lose them both. I won’t lose them both.
Will Rodman: In the ten years you’ve been running Gen Sys, how many drugs have come down the pipeline that can save millions of lives? That can change everything?
Steven Jacobs: What are you talking about?
Will Rodman: The A-L-Z-One-Twelve.
Steven Jacobs: What happened to you, Will? You used to be the star of this lab. Now, you hardly ever show, and when you do, you waste your time and that of your teams fixating on a drug, that after what happened is never ever going to get approved. The One-Twelve is dangerous, Will. And it doesn’t work!
[referring to ALZ-112 drug]
Will Rodman: I treated my father with it. It does work.
Steven Jacobs: You did what? You did what?
Will Rodman: He beat the disease. Like we predicted.
Steven Jacobs: Bring him in.
Will Rodman: There’s been a complication.
Steven Jacobs: Well, does it work or doesn’t it?
Will Rodman: My father’s disease eventually outran the cure.
Steven Jacobs: Oh, for goodness sake!
Will Rodman: The immune system produced antibodies that beat the viral component. But it will work. I’ve already developed a virus strain that I think will be more aggressive.
Steven Jacobs: You think?
Will Rodman: Just let me test it.
Steven Jacobs: You’re wasting my time.
[Jacobs walks away from him ahead]
Will Rodman: There’s more! The applications go beyond the disease. There are indications that show that therapy can improve cognitive functioning, memory quality.
Steven Jacobs: What…what are you saying?
Will Rodman: My father didn’t just recover. He improved.
Steven Jacobs: You mean increased intelligence?
Will Rodman: It’s not conclusive, but yes.
Steven Jacobs: I want you to start testing the revised One-Twelve on chimps A.S.A.P.
Will Rodman: Okay.
Steven Jacobs: I’ll give you whatever you need.
[after testing the new ALZ-113 drug on the chimp named Koba]
Will Rodman: Intelligence results are remarkable. No adverse effects.
Robert Franklin: Apes have amazingly strong immune systems.
Will Rodman: Right. Keep an eye on him.
[one of the apes in the other cells knows sign language and signs to Caesar]
Maurice: [signs] Hurt bad?
Caesar: [signs] You know sign?
Maurice: [signs] Circus monkey.
[referring to John Landon and his son Dodge as they tranquilize one of the chimps]
Maurice: [signs] Careful. The humans don’t like a smart monkey.
[visiting Caesar they notice that he’s been hurt]
Dodge Landon: Sometimes the new kid on the block gets picked on.
[to Caesar as she helps clean his wounds]
Caroline Aranha: Don’t worry. God! What have they done to you?
[realizing he’s responsible for Caesar’s wounds Will pushes Dodge]
Will Rodman: That’s bullshit!
[referring to Caesar]
Will Rodman: I’m takin’ him out of here. Right now!
John Landon: Not without a court order, you’re not! He’s not yours anymore.
Will Rodman: I promise, if I find out he’s been mistreated in any way, I’ll have this place shut down.
[Caesar signs to Will if he can go home]
Will Rodman: No. No, we’re not going home right now. But I’m gonna get you out of here. I promise.
[holding his hand]
Will Rodman: You have to trust me.
[Caesar looks in despair and distrust at Will]
Will Rodman: Caesar, you have to trust me. Okay?
[to Will after his father has died]
Caroline Aranha: Something’s aren’t meant to be changed. You need to accept that.
[referring to Jacobs ordering more testing of the ALZ-113 drug on more chimps]
Will Rodman: We agreed to test sparingly, on one subject.
Steven Jacobs: And that one subject is stunning!
Will Rodman: It’s a virus. We don’t know the human related effects.
Steven Jacobs: The drug works, Will.
Steven Jacobs: I’ll tell you exactly what we’re dealing with here. We’re dealing with a drug that is worth more than everything else we are developing combined! You make history. I make money! Isn’t that our arrangement?
Will Rodman: No. There are risks.
Steven Jacobs: Don’t talk to me about risks. You gave your own father an experimental drug! I could finish your career with one phone call.
Will Rodman: I’ll save you the trouble. I quit.
[Will turns and walks way]
Steven Jacobs: We will proceed, without you.
[Will turns back]
Will Rodman: Look, you don’t know what you’re doing. These tests need to be contained. You have no idea if the One-Thirteen is stable, what kind of damage it can do people!
Steven Jacobs: Yes, well. That is why we tested on chimps. Isn’t it?
[Will throws an envelope full of cash on Landon’s desk]
John Landon: You wouldn’t be trying to entrap me, would you?
[Will doesn’t answer]
John Landon: Well, I can’t say I approve. They’re not people, you know.
Will Rodman: Are you gonna let him go, or not?
[Landon covers the envelope with some paper, meaning he accepts the bribe]
Will Rodman: Caesar. Hey, come on!
[Caesar sat in the far corner of his cell against the wall looks away not moving]
Will Rodman: Come on. We’re going home.
[Caesar still doesn’t move or look at Will]
Will Rodman: Home! Come, on. We’re really going.
[Caesar comes towards Will]
Will Rodman: Let’s get out of here.
[Caesar stops and looks at Maurice and then notices Will has a leash in his hands]
Will Rodman: Yeah. Come on.
[Will holds out his hand but Caesar instead closes his cell door and turns away from Will]
Will Rodman: Caesar?
John Landon: I guess he likes it better here, with his own kind.
[Maurice starts signing asking Caesar giving cookies to the other chimps the previous night]
Maurice: [signs] Why cookies, Rocket?
Caesar: [signs] One money, weak. Monkey together, strong.
Maurice: [signs] Monkeys stupid.
[Dodge sees Caesar in the play area while all the other monkeys are in their cells watching]
Dodge Landon: What the hell do you think you’re doing, huh?
[Caesar gives Dodge an evil look]
Dodge Landon: Get!
[Caesar doesn’t move]
Dodge Landon: I’m warning you. Go on! Get!
[Caesar doesn’t move]
Dodge Landon: That’s it!
[Dodge attacks Caesar with his stun gun]
[as Dodge is attacking Caesar he overpowers Dodge and gets hold of his arm]
Dodge Landon: Take you stinking paw off me, you damn dirty ape!
[Caesar gives him a powerful look before finally screaming his first spoken word]
[Dodge and Rodney look at Caesar in shock before Caesar punches Dodge in the face]
[after Will and Caroline find Dodge killed and Rodney locked in one of the cells]
Will Rodman: What happened?
Rodney: He spoke!
Will Rodman: What do you…? What?
Rodney: Your ape. He spoke.
[answers his cell phone not realizing that the apes have taken over Gyn Sys]
Steven Jacobs: Mr. Jacobs, it’s Linda from Will’s team. Something horrible has happened.
Linda: Franklin is dead, from a viral infection.
Steven Jacobs: What the hell are you talking about?
Linda: He was exposed to the One-Thirteen. It does something to people that it doesn’t do to apes.
[last lines; after Caesar and the other apes have escaped to the Red Woods, Will finds him]
Will Rodman: Caesar, I’m sorry. This is my fault. This has to stop. This isn’t the way. You know what they’re capable of. Please, come home. If you come home, I’ll protect you.
[Caesar looks at him sadly and pulls him into a hug, speaking into Will’s ear]
Caesar: Caesar is home.
[Will shocked at Caesar speaking nods his head understanding]
Will Rodman: Okay. Caesar is home. Go.