Worst to First: Ranking the Planet of the Apes movies

3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

RT Score: 81%

Box Office: $176,760,185 (#3)

BO (Adjusted for Inflation): $196,840,100 (#4)

McDowall or Serkis: Serkis

Summary: After failing to restart the series ten years earlier, Fox decided to do what everyone else was doing and hop on board the reboot train.  Movies like Batman Begins and Casino Royale had made prequels sexy.  Every movie franchise looking for a fresh start was going back to its roots.  So Rise of the Planet of the Apes set out to tell the story of how humanity lost control of the planet.

This is essentially the story told by the last three movies in the original series.  As we saw with those movies, there are a lot of ways to get that story wrong.  Would audiences, who tend to skew human, really be willing to root against their own species for an entire movie?  It’s a difficult balancing act requiring both a sympathetic human character and a leading man who can win over the audience despite their performance being given in motion capture.

Rise was up to the task.  Andy Serkis, who had already given a memorable motion capture performance as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, played Caesar.  Fans of the original series who stayed all the way to the bitter end will recognize the name.   Caesar lead the ape rebellion.  Since Rise represented a new start for the series, there was no need for all the loopy time travel that came with the story the first time around.  Instead, the reboot had a surprising amount of heart that ultimately won audiences over.

Next: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Posted on July 14, 2017, in Movies, Worst to First and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Planet of the Apes – Sequels/ Reboots

    A speed review of all the Planet of the Apes sequels/reboots.

    We’re going ape about Planet of the Apes! The crew sit down to discuss the original Planet of the Apes series. We ran out of time, so we couldn’t discuss Tim Burton’s relaunch. We did a little mini review, but we had some technical issues, so we’ll need to re-tape it again in the near future.


    • Every Planet Of The Apes Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

      Which one is king of the apes?

      A triumphant Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy has just come to a close.

      Less than a decade ago, the notion of such a thing existing was utterly bananas, but they did it. They reinvented a dormant franchise and helped it reclaim its crown.

      Prior to the release of 2011’s surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the world hadn’t seen a competent new addition to the series in decades, so what Caesar and his CG simian army have achieved is remarkable.

      Despite the franchise’s woes over the years, the Charlton Heston original remains a classic, but with a stellar new trilogy to compete with, how does it stack up in 2017?

      And where does Tim Burton’s ill-advised attempt to remake it rank on a list of movies which has swelled to nine entries since the turn of the decade?

      Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)

      This was one battle too many for the Planet of the Apes and it left an ugly scar on the face of the series for years to come.

      A slashed budget was Battle For The Planet Of The Apes’ worst enemy and the results made its simian masks and costumes look like something from the bottom of the bargain bin at a backstreet fancy dress store.

      This is a shame, because Battle is one of the most ambitious installments, daring to take things a shade darker by having the apes face off against an army of post-apocalyptic humans (or the closest thing to them the FX resources would allow).

      The subtext about the value of freedom and equality is in place and series mainstay Roddy McDowall is as reliable as ever in the role of Ceasar, but he’s about the only thing in the movie that is convincing.

      The large-scale conflict the series was building towards goes off with a whimper, and the photography and editing reek of cut corners.

      Rounding off the original series, Battle paid out in chimp change.


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