Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rating:

I saw pretty good reviews for this movie so I really made it a point to get around to seeing it in theaters eventually.  It indeed satisfied my expectations, and though it was fairly slow in its entirety, I think the film makers did an exceptional job of making Caesar very human-like.  The build-up from beginning to end fully lays a foundation for why one can empathize with all that Caesar experiences throughout the film.

Watching movies like this always makes me unsure of whether or not I could take the right side in such a fight.  Would I side with the humans?  Or would I be in support of the apes who were retaliating for their own mistreatment and abuse?  Many of the scenes from mid-movie made me contemplate about the problems of animal cruelty and animal captivity.  I must admit that I stare in awe at the awesomeness of nature whenever I set foot in a zoo as well, but I can’t help but think of how wrong the idea is.  Would it be acceptable if more intelligent lifeforms captured groups of homo sapiens and kept us on display and used us as test subjects without our consent?  Though apes and other animals may not have the same higher cognitive functions as humans, they are not without feelings and emotions.

In the end, I would say that most of the humans who suffered in the ape escape deserved it.  Caesar proved that he had a much better grasp of ethics, understanding the thin line separating right from wrong, refraining to kill the humans who did not demonstrate animosity towards the apes.  The ending of course left more to be desired, and I guess that’s why the movie was so slow.  It suffers from the unfortunate plague of merely building up to a sequel rather than being a complete movie on its own; a them common with box office hits these days.  My best guess is that it will end up a trilogy like almost all big Hollywood investments.

The ending made me reminisce about Twelve Monkeys.  Is this really the way humanity will fall?  Perhaps so, because then the food chain would be complete, for humans to be trumped by the lifeforms that do not even meet traditional biologists’ qualifications for “life.”

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