Starring: James Franco, Andy Serkis, John Lithgow, Freida Pinto
Written by: Rick Jaffa/Amanda Silver
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Buy Rise of the Planet of the Apes on DVD (or DVD/Blu-ray Combo)
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When Planet of the Apes was first released in 1968, I doubt that anyone truly expected the franchise that would be born from its success. Featuring state of the art makeup effects coupled with a story that on the surface was riveting and below the surface was intellectually stimulating, it grossed a ton of money and sent the folks at 20th Century Fox into convulsions with excitement for sequel opportunities (not much changes in the movie business, you see). Four sequels were produced from this landmark film, ranging from great (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes) to almost unwatchable (Battle for the Planet of the Apes), as well as both a live-action and animated television show. By the end of the 70′s though, everyone was pretty aped out and the franchise was allowed the chance to cool down.
Cut to the beginning of the 21st century, and Fox decided it was time to bring back its storied franchise about ape revolutions and destroyed landmarks for a new generation of moviegoers. Enlisting the talents of director Tim Burton, the revamped Planet of the Apes was released in 2001 and although it did make a boatload of money, critically it was not a success and the moviegoing public wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit for a sequel. 20th Century Fox decided to shelve the apes once again, showing the kind of restraint that you wouldn’t expect from a movie studio.
And now a decade later, 20th Century Fox has gone back to the well with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, hoping that the second time’s the charm when it comes to rebooting the entire series. And this time, they get it right; by somewhat following what was established in the original franchise while also building its own universe and course of events, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the rare reboot that does it correctly.