Beautifully constructed morality tale from Rupert Wyatt with some really remarkable visuals. The effects work and the actors’ interactions with their 'props' are so assured that the outcome is highly convincing to the point that you won’t notice the join, and it's a huge accomplishment that will (if there's any justice) deservedly catapult Mr. Wyatt into the big leagues.
It’s a good if rather predictable story, but satisfying to spot the delicately placed traces of continuity that link to the later phases of the PotA franchise. In the first half at least John Lithgow is the emotional heart of the film and his performance is extremely touching and effective. James Franco’s is a strong turn too and Freida Pinto provides a powerful counterbalance to Franco's character’s increasingly reckless pursuit of a cure. It’s also good to see Tom Felton casting off his robes and discarding his wand (although just as nasty as ever).
In relation to Caesar and the other apes it is difficult to comprehend the skills that must be necessary to perform effectively with what must be highly invasive technology. Andy Serkis is obviously a highly skilled actor in his own right, as evinced by his performances as Ian Dury and in The Prestige, Brighton Rock and Little Dorrit (tv) to name a few, but is he really the only guy who can play these marquee motion capture roles? I don't mean to be critical, far from it, I think Mr. Serkis will be remembered as the first and possibly greatest exponent of this newest branch of thespian-ism, but only because of making the transition to 'live action'. I find it interesting to consider whether any of Serkis's fellow mocap-ers will ever have the profile that he has deservedly achieved.
|Andy Serkis - I still say Bluetooth is yesterday's technology|
In the end RotPotA is highly enjoyable effects romp but is best, perhaps unusually, not in its big set pieces but in the personal interactions at the film’s heart.
All four thumbs up - bring on the Dawn...