Superior computer animation distinguishes this prequel, the first film in a planned reboot of the popular sci-fi series: the apes convey such a range of emotion that it's easy to overlook the fact that they're digitally generated. If only the human characters were so detailed. To showcase the special effects, the filmmakers reportedly trimmed many of the dialogue-based scenes, thereby dulling the dramatic impact of a strong genre premise: a good-natured scientist (James Franco, miscast but still game) tries to cure Alzheimer's disease but ends up creating superintelligent primates in the process. The first half (presumably where most of the narrative scenes were excised) is frustratingly arrhythmic; more satisfying is the ape revolution of the final half-hour, a scary and deftly handled passage. Rupert Wyatt directed; with Brian Cox, John Lithgow, and Andy Serkis.
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Producer: Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Thomas M. Hammel
Cast: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, Andy Serkis, Tyler Labine, Jamie Harris, David Hewlett, Ty Olsson, Madison Bell and Makena Joy
Rise of the Planet of the Apes