‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Clip Mixes CGI Action & Melodrama

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 15th, 2013 at 12:59 pm,

rise planet apes john lithgow Rise of the Planet of the Apes Clip Mixes CGI Action & Melodrama

20th Century Fox has been on a roll, promoting the upcoming prequel/semi-reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes left and right. The previously-released TV spots and trailers for the film have been big on painting it as a mix of sci-fi cautionary tale, personal drama, and cutting-edge visual effects used to realize the non-human simian characters onscreen, courtesy of WETA Digital (Avatar).

The studio has unveiled an extended clip from the film, which likewise combines melodrama with some slick footage of Andy Serkis as the chimp Caesar (brought to life with performance-capture technology). But does it make the movie looking genuinely moving – or borderline soapy?

One of the consistent complaints voiced so far about the Planet of the Apes prequel footage is that it seems a bit on the maudlin side, with imagery of Caesar being separated from his surrogate human family and abused by his “caretakers” at an inhumane primate sanctuary. It’s not entirely unfair to say that the Rise of the Planet of the Apes preview clips at times seem like ads for PETA, in that regard.

A pivotal moment that has been teased throughout the Apes ad campaign is when Caesar comes to the aid of his adapted grandfather, Charles (John Lithgow), who is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and ends up getting in a scuffle with an easily-enraged neighbor as a result. Is this scene in particular too corny for its own good?

Watch a good chunk of that sequence from Rise of the Planet of the Apes in the video (via Yahoo! Movies) below:


From a technical perspective, this Apes sequence is pretty impressive, with regards to Caesar’s mobility in particular. As far as digitally-rendered characters go, it looks far more convincing when Serkis’ ape tackles Charles’ assailant and begins pounding the man with his bare hands, than it does in other films that feature CGI characters picking up or handling flesh-and-blood people (the Transformers movies have always had issues with that).

The emotional drama and conflict of this sequence definitely walks the line between being overly melodramatic and appropriately moving. Still, in the context of the actual Apes movie, there should be a good deal of buildup to this moment, establishing just how strong a bond Caesar has with his adopted human family – and how much of a fish-out-of-water he is in the everyday human world. So, as it stands, this turning point in the film might ultimately feel natural (and tragic), in that respect.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes UK trailer Rise of the Planet of the Apes Clip Mixes CGI Action & Melodrama

As Serkis noted in the introduction to that Rise of the Planet of the Apes clip, this is a unique specimen of a film, with regards to how the story is told from the perspective of Caesar – and not his human companions. It’s a tricky act, getting moviegoers to rally around a CGI animal, but the Apes character seems quite able to communicate a wide range of emotions and work as an engaging protagonist, which should help.¬†Who knows, maybe his turn as Caesar will even get Serkis more of the awards attention that a lot of people felt he deserved for his mo-cap performance as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

As always, we shall find out for certain when Rise of the Planet of the Apes hits U.S. theaters on August 5th, 2011.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

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  1. HMM, pretty cool. I will most likely see this when it comes out. CGI looks great. Weta Digital is awesome. Can’t wait to see how far they will go from a technical point with The Hobbit, and Avatar 2&3.

  2. Looks fine to me.

  3. Really excited for this movie, this may open some eyes on our modern day treatment of animals.

  4. that was awesome, Cesar SMASSH lol

  5. So looks really good and entertaining and all, only problem is we know the whole plot and sub plot.

    Franco’s Dad has Alzheimer, Franco Creates Test/Cure for the Alzheimer, Franco Tests it on Caesar. Caesar live with the family for most of the movie,. For some reason, Caesar gets taken away and locked up. While locked up, dumb humans pick and provoke Caesar. Caesar gets mad. Caesar Breaks Out. Caesar breaks all other monkey and apes out. Apes go ape S***. We All Die…

    Sound about right? Ah well, Ill still watch it for the visuals and hopefully the ending will be awesome when the apes take us over, though I doubt it would ever happen :)

    Just my thoughts…

  6. i like the premise of this movie, but calling a reboot is a very weak idea… this movie would make alot more sense if it was pushed as the events that happened way before planet of the apes, while that movie had its weak moments but overall it was a pretty decent story… i just dont see how you cannot make a connection to the 2001 movie…

  7. August 5th. The Revolution begins.

  8. HA! I guess Caesar hated Stargate: Atlantis too!!
    God only knows I’ve wanted to jump into the screen and beat the living tar out of Rodney McKay too.

  9. Wow!

    The scene started off rather funny, and then it turned into a cold and serious moment.


  10. amazing. my only concerns are the over exaggeration of the humans actions when faced against the apes (in this instance the man’s exaggeration when flipping over the railing when caesar kicks him) and the sudden cut of the suspenseful music (due to poor editing).

    on the whole this movie looks great, WETA is yet to disappoint me :)

  11. I am fascinated by the CGI of the Chimp. Look how real life he looked. Now if only some one can make a movie about “Journey to the West”, the Monkey king story my all time favor book. Then I’ll be complete.

  12. That’s pretty impressive!! I’ve seen all the Apes material so I course will see this. SO realistic. Opening weekend for me.

  13. CGI is creepy but good! Will definitely give it a watch.

  14. I like the fact that Ceasar was building a small statue of liberty kit….
    I hope they can keep that dramatic edge through out the movie…so far, I like what I see…

  15. Oh, thank goodness! It’s wonderful to live in a Country that was founded on individual liberties, only to now note that EVERY ACTION ANYONE TAKES requires approval of some group somewhere. PETA, NAACP, Gay/Lesbian, Association for Fat People Acceptance, you name it. Everyone has a “group” these days. On the other hand, it’s GREAT to see the progress that no animals are harmed in movies these days, but doesn’t that mean we can wind down PETA and what not? Perhaps I’m just being silly . . .