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As we all have seem, rebooting the franchise by remaking the original 1968 "Planet of the Apes" was a terrible idea. Making first a prequel to the whole series was a far better choice, as things turned out. We will surely get more sequels to this movie and who knows, maybe even some decent remakes of some of the old Planet of the Apes movies, or at least some parts of it. I'm fully confident they will come up with a good and original way to expand on the series, following this movie.

It really is a great movie to set up things. It's literally one that goes back to the source and cause of the whole ape outbreak and shows how it was possible for these animals to rise against the humans and eventually start ruling the world. Not that this movie shows you all of that (guess we'll have to wait for the sequels for that) but you know it's all still going to happen, at least if you have seen or heard of any of the classic Planet of the Apes movies, which is about everybody on this world.

And despite the fact that you basically already have the knowledge how this movie is going to progress, it's still great and exciting to see it all play out. And biggest accomplishments is that you really believe it all. It's a science-fiction movie of course but yet it all plays out very realistically, as if one day this all could truly happen.

You could really thank the story for that, that came up with a very plausible story, that slowly progressed into something bigger and bigger, till things went ape, toward the end of the movie. It was a fascinating, tense and exciting movie to watch throughout, with plenty of great and clever, subtle moments in it.

The movie also made some subtle references at times, toward the classic Planet of the Apes movies. But good thing about this was that it wasn't constantly in your face about it. If you have seen the classic Planet of the Apes movies you'll get most of the references but if you haven't, the references in this movie won't bother you or distract you from anything that is happening in the movie.

It's also a movie with a really great cast in it. Initially the choice for James Franco to play the main, scientist lead in this movie, raised a few eyebrows but as it turned out, he was just simply perfect in his role. I also really liked David Oyelowo and it was also pleasant to watch other big names such as John Lithgow and Brian Cox in this.

But of course the biggest stars of this movie truly remains the apes. It's amazing to see how much personality these animals posses in this movie, even while they don't speak (yet). All of the apes were created with motion capture effects, with Andy Serkis playing the main chimpanzee Caesar.

And while the apes were all truly great looking I must still admit that at moments it wasn't always all that convincing looking. I just feel that the effects are not quite there yet. We are getting close and no doubt that someday we will truly not be able to tell CGI from real and this movie is truly brining it all a step closer but like I said, it's not quite there yet. Surprisingly enough the closeups of the CG animals were still the most convincing looking, which was probably also still the most important aspect to get right, in order to get all of the emotions across.

It's a really great fresh start for the franchise again, that paves the way for many more Planet of the Apes movies to come!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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