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Ceaser:(In sign) Ape alone, weak. Apes together... strong. Maurice:(Also in sign) Apes stupid.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt, the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes serves as a reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Word of God says the film, a loose remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, will mark the Origin Story for a new Planet Of The Apes universe (and future films). This is the only continuity so far attempting to release the films in a chronological order.Will Rodman, a scientist attempting to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease (fueled by the desire to cure his father of the illness), finds incredible results with the experimental virus-based drug ALZ-112: "Bright Eyes", a female chimpanzee injected with the drug, becomes more intelligent soon after the drug takes effect. Will believes the time is right to fund human testing — but during his pitch to potential backers, Bright Eyes inexplicably goes berserk and gets gunned down in the middle of the meeting. Fortunate to still have his job afterwards, Will soon finds out that Bright Eyes had just given birth, and she became aggressive as an instinctive attempt to protect her child.Will saves the young chimp from euthanasia, names him Caesar, and takes him home. The ape immediately displays intelligence beyond his years (and species), which proves he inherited his mother's enhanced intelligence. Through Caesar, Will hopes to keep his work alive — but as Caesar grows older, a chain of events leads him on the path to self-realization and an eventual uprising.The film marks the first time in the franchise that filmmakers used Serkis Folk (with Andy Serkis himself playing Caesar) as apes.The sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was released in 2014, directed by Matt Reeves.A third film has been fast-tracked by Fox, also to be directed by Reeves.
This film provides examples of:
Abnormal Ammo: Who would've thought that manhole covers could be used as shuriken or the posts of wrought-iron fences as spears? The apes did, and with surprising accuracy.
Apes are incapable of throwing with the distance and accuracy shown in the film. The reason that our shoulders are so different from those of apes is believed to be because we evolved to throw weapons, such as spears and rocks, to deadly effect.
Of course, most of this can all be hand waved by the fact that the ALZ-113 probably changed the apes not only mentally, but physically as well. Caesar wasn't nearly as upright until he inhaled the 113.
The drugs had an instantaneous effect on the brain. Neurogenesis is an inherently slow process, with overly fast neurogenesis causing death. Which becomes a nice plot point when ALZ-113 proves deadly to humans. That said where do all the new brain cells in the Chimps go, given their far smaller braincases?
The apes who become intelligent are from different species which have very different degrees of intelligence in nature, ape species being different between them as they are different from humans, yet ALZ-113 makes them all similarly smart. There is also the fact that humans are just another species of ape, if there is a chemical that transforms all form of ape then it would effect humans similarly.
Asshole Victim: All over the place. That way you know who you're supposed to be sympathizing with.
Hunsiker, Will's neighbor. Although most people would be rather upset in those situations.
Bash Brothers: Buck the gorilla and Maurice the orangutan taking out cop cars.
Berserk Button: Caesar's berserk button was attacking Will or his father. He mangled their neighbor's finger when he got aggressive with Charles.
And Bright Eyes' was when she thought the humans were going after baby Caesar.
Butt Monkey: Hunsiker. Every scene involves him suffering one way or another. We never get to see the guy in a good mood because of this. Though if your reaction to everything is extreme violence and anger, this quickly becomes Laser-Guided Karma.
Especially notable in the scene where he confronts Franklin. Yes, he was trying the doors to the neighbor's house, but calling the cops and keeping an eye on the situation would probably be a better bet than getting directly in the suspicious person's face, especially when it's not your house.
Call Back: When Caroline says it's appropriate to be afraid of chimpanzees, Caesar mocks the idea by jumping on top of Will and miming punches at him, all while everyone is laughing. Caesar later does nearly the exact same thing to Hunsiker, except he's actually beating him up very badly.
During Caesar's first night in the cages, he draws a symbol resembling the attic window of Will's home to comfort himself. Later, during the ape's rampage through San Fran, the same symbol appears again scrawled on a road sign, seemingly to mark territory.
Coming-of-Age Story: Caesar, naturally. He is taken as a baby by Will, grows in mind and body, and then, through a series of events, leaves his nest and becomes a freedom fighter.
Continuity Snarl: The 10-year projection graph at Gen-Sys 8 years before the rest of the movie contains years 2011-2019. Eight more years would place most of the film in 2019. However, the year 2016 appears on a car sticker and is even suggested as the year of this film's events by the website dawnofapes.com, which itself contradicts the 2013, 2012, and 2011 years given by the Simian Flu website, the Dawn novelization, and Motherboard's Before The Dawn shorts respectively. One thing that we know for sure is that Caesar's birth takes place no earlier than 2005 since that year is on Charles Rodman's certificate on the wall in the beginning.
Dolled-Up Installment: A weird one. Rick Jaffa wrote the first treatment as an original story inspired by reports of people raising primates as children in their homes and being attacked by them. It wasn't until he was finishing it that he realized that, given enough time, the situation created by the ending could very well lead to the world seen in the 1968 Planet of the Apes. So Jaffa contacted FOX, presented the story as a reboot for Planet of the Apes, and this is the result.
Doomed by Canon: The entire human race, given that this is a prequel/reboot of the original series.
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example, but the crude sketch of the window in the Rodman's attic that Caesar drew on the wall of his cage in the San Bruno Pound to comfort himself later shows up rather ominously on a highway marker overlooking the Bay Valley skyline when Caesar and his band of apes break out of the San Bruno pound, as though it were graffiti left by a gang marking their territory.
The similarity between the animal sanctuary and a prison however is overt, and even lampshaded by Dodge when he brings his friends to visit.
Downer Ending: It seems that the apes will inherit the earth after the same substance that made them intelligent kills off the human race. It's a bit of a Foregone Conclusion though since this is a prequel.
Token Evil Teammate / Sixth Ranger: Possibly Koba the ALZ-113 test subject. In a deleted scene, he would even try to gas Jacobs while escaping the lab. Another scene (presumably a stinger ending) has him finding an abandoned shotgun and working out how to use it. However, the sequel shows he is absolutely this, and eventually he becomes the Big Bad.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Caesar isn't really a Big Bad in any way, but after gradually learning of humanity's overall treatment of apes, he goes from a harmless, genius-level chimpanzee to inciting an all-out revolution in San Francisco giving the world a small preview of what is to come.
Genius Bruiser: Maurice the orangutan is the only other ape who initially knows sign language, but being an orangutan, he's incredibly strong and at one point hurls a manhole cover straight through a police car windshield as if he were throwing a Frisbee.
Graffiti of the Resistance: Shows up briefly, where the picture Caesar drew on his wall in the animal shelter to represent his window at home is seen spray-painted on a road sign following the apes' revolt.
Green Eyes: The ALZ-112 and 113 cause green pigmentation in an ape's eyes.
Gunboat Diplomacy: Caesar pulls this on Rocket to get him to step down as the leader of the apes. Rocket was a lot more compliant when Caesar's 450-pound gorilla friend was around to help with the convincing.
Heroic BSOD: Poor Caesar goes under two of these- the first one after experiencing his Curb-Stomp Battle of a beatdown by then-alpha male Rocket, the second after learning once again that he could not go home with Will and Caroline after the hell he has experienced.
Hero of Another Story: Throughout the film, various background references are made to a manned spaceflight that gets "lost in space", no doubt into some kind of wormhole that will spit them out thousands of years into the future right near a watery planet, the third from the sun in its solar system.
High Voltage Death: Landon, the son of the owner of the ape sanctuary dies of electrocution. After Caesar has enough of Landon's abuse and speaks, he turns the kid's hose on him, and since Landon is still holding his activated cattle prod...well, he dies. Combined with a bit of Hoist by His Own Petard, it seems.
An unintentional one when the gorilla attacks a police car with a parking meter.
Hope Spot: For Will when he sees the initial cure work on his father. However, anti-bodies soon develop to fight the cure and the Alzheimer's comes back with a vengeance.
Serves as a bit of Shown Their Work, since this is generally the final outcome of most Alzheimer's treatments in real life (the ones that work at all, anyway).
Hot Scientist: One could say both Will and Caroline fall into this category.
Hulk Speak: Sign language between apes are subtitled in what appears to be poor grammar. However, ASL is a simplified language where many conjunctions are implied. A literal translation appears akin to bad grammar in English.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: The movie is more even-handed with its overall characterization of humanity than you might expect, but the plot still hinges on people being dicks to the apes for really no reason.
Idiot Ball: Will. When your father has advanced Alzheimer's, it's generally not a good idea to leave him alone in the house while you're at work. Double for Hunsiker, who apparently leaves the door of his sports car unlocked and open, with keys in the ignition, on a regular basis.
Gen*Sys not immediately quarantining Franklin after he inhales the untested ALZ-113, or building their large-animal testing lab out of anything but glass, even after a disastrous, project-wrecking ape escape during a board meeting.
If Will would have told his boss everything during the five years of his father miraculous recovery, ALZ-112 would have been Jacobs's blockbuster drug, millions of Alzheimer patients would have gotten their lives back and Caesar might have been invited to talk shows.
Aerosolizing the ALZ-113 in the first place. It makes dosage control all but impossible and the only reason for it seems to be because the plot requires it.
Improvised Armor: Several gorillas push over a bus and slide it towards a police roadblock to block their fire.
Jerkass: As much as Hunsiker is this trope, Dodge is even worse. Tom Felton has said that Dodge "makes Draco look soft" and, let's face it, he would know.
Jerkass Has a Point: The jerkass neighbor gains audience sympathy when he finds a chimpanzee in his home, near his children, and has the nerve to fend off what he obviously believed was a dangerous wild animal.
Kindly Vet: Caroline, who ends up marrying Will early in the film.
Lab Pet: Ceasar, the son of a lab chimp, is taken home and made a pet.
Language Equals Thought: The line "Why cookie Rocket?" in the dialogue between Caesar and Maurice could symbolize the solidarity of the apes in fighting for their cause. Their use of language is similar to others which don't pinpoint blame for actions.
Dodge: Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" Dodge: "It's a madhouse!"
The way Caesar is treated at the ape prison is nearly identical to the way Taylor was treated in the original film.
The manned space mission to another world, clearly meant to evoke the lost astronauts from the classic film. Probably a Sequel Hook to this movie to have this series follow the original.
Caesar is seen working on a 3-D puzzle of the Statue of Liberty.
Caesar is designed to resemble Roddy McDowall's Cornelius and Caesar makeup from the original series.
Films starring Charlton Heston appear on the televisions at the ape prison.
Caesar's first word — NOOOOOO! — is, according to Cornelius in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the first word spoken by an ape named Aldo, the first ape to speak, that led to the uprising of apes in the original mythos before the altering of the timeline.
The start of the movie with the poachers hunting the wild chimp troop is similar to the human-hunting scene from the original movie (albeit done in a way that also echoes how poachers hunt chimps in Real Life).
"Bright Eyes" was the name Zira gave Taylor in the original Planet of the Apes before learning his real name.
Part of Caesar's plan for getting through the police blockade involves him riding a horse.
One of the characters is named John Landon, and he has a son named Dodge Landon. Thomas Dodge and John Landon were Taylor's fellow astronauts in the first movie.
Dodge Landon's laugh while mocking the apes is similar to Charlton Heston's laughing at Dodge trying to mark their territory with an American flag.
Dodge keeping the apes in line with a high-pressure hose like the one the apes use the "Mad house!!" scene of the original.
Caesar believing that he is being treated like a pet after he sees a dog who, like him, is on a leash is a reference to the fact mentioned in Conquest that, prior to becoming slaves, apes became pets after all cats and dogs were killed by a virus from space in 1983.
Speaking of which, this movie also contains a virus. Unlike the one mentioned in the original series, this virus, the ALZ-113, makes apes more intelligent but infects humans with a lethal illness.
Maurice has a circus background like Caesar of the original film series.
In Escape, Caesar's parents Cornelius and Zira get shot to death. In this film, Caesar's mother Bright Eyes also gets shot to death.
Caesar saying "No" whenever apes try to beat humans to death echoes the scene from Conquest in which Lisa says "No" when the apes are about to beat the humans to death at the end.
Caesar signing "Home" and wanting to go to a home echo the commander yelling "Home!" to the apes in Conquest.
Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer suggest that the ape horde Caesar leads are trying to violently conquer the whole planet, when in the actual film they're just trying to escape from captivity, generally only responding violently as a reaction to humans trying to hurt them.
No CDC Compliance: Gen*Sys has some serious issues about keeping experimental drugs from being constantly stolen from their labs. An employee is maskless in the same room as an untested, genetically modified, airborne virus - yet he is not detained for observation, and he calls off sick for two days before anyone puts two and two together.
The Obi-Wan: Sort of. Will does teach him the developmental skills he needs to survive during the first eight years of his life, and Maurice helps reintroduce him into ape society and acts as a surrogate parent, but Caesar, due to the ALZ, is his own Obi-Wan, having managed to teach and improve upon all the skills taught to him within those eight years.
Caesar himself will presumably become The Obi-Wan for his fellow apes, as they build their own society.
Oh, Crap: Rodney, Dodge, and even Buck reacts like this when Caesar screams "NO!" to Dodge. Will's, Caroline's, Will's father's, and even Caesar's reactions to when Caesar viciously bit—nearly severed—the Jerk Ass neighbor's finger when trying to defend Will's father. Jacobs when seeing the facility's balcony filled with apes. And Rocket's when Caesar corners him with Buck the gorilla. Jacobs again in the aforementioned helicopter scene. The cops when wrought-iron fenceposts start raining don on their cars.
Poor Communication Kills: Will drops the ball many times. He doesn't fess up about taking the cure home and its effect on his father until his father is starting to relapse. He doesn't fess up and point out that one of the test apes intelligence is off the charts. Despite knowing the intelligence level of Caesar, and knowing full well there are children out in the street Will doesn't have "the talk" with him.
Perhaps if Caesar had used his sign language to let Will know the reality of the primate facility - and that he wasn't being kept in that prettily painted, toy-filled cage, Will might have gotten him out sooner. And perhaps if Will had taken time to explain WHY he couldn't take Caesar home - that the courts were forcing him not to but that he was working all out to get past that - perhaps Caesar would have felt less betrayed and abandoned by his human friend.
Reality Has No Subtitles: Caesar signs that Will should ask Caroline out to dinner. This is left untranslated as Caroline can't understand the signs used.
Reed Richards Is Useless: Will's drug gives his father full reversal of Alzheimer's for eight years (followed by a rapid regression and progression). A potential pharmaceutical gold mine he dumps and starts over from scratch because it wasn't permanent. Granted, his father's death messed with his judgement, but still.
La Résistance: By the end of the movie, Caesar's ape tribe has become this.
Poisonous Friend: A Deleted Scenehas Caesar pushing Jacobs off the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead the movie has him walking away and refusing to help, while Koba does the job instead.
At one point, Caesar is constructing a model of the Statue of Liberty, which was featured in the Twist Ending of the first film.
Will Rodman was named after Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, who wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film.
His name (possibly by coincidence) sounds similar to Will Robinson, the geneticist in Terry Hayes' 1996 screenplay Return of the Apes.
Perhaps also by coincidence, "Rodman" is almost an anagram of "Armando," which was the name of the circus owner who owned Caesar in Escape from the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Robert Franklin is named after Franklin J. Schaffner, the director of the 1968 film.
Caesar appears on horseback late in the film.
The orangutan is named Maurice, after Maurice Evans, who played the orangutan Dr. Zaius in the 1968 film.
An early draft included a human character named Evans.
Buck the gorilla is named after Buck Kartalian, who portrayed Julius the gorilla in the 1968 film.
Rocket is named after set decorator Norman Rockett from the 1968 film.
John Landon and Dodge Landon (the father and son who worked at the San Bruno Primate Shelter) were named after one of the astronauts John Landon and Thomas Dodge in the 1968 film.
Dodge firehoses Caesar, as Taylor was firehosed in the 1968 film.
Dodge has two lines originally spoken by Charlton Heston (See Mythology Gag.)
In the Gen-Sys lobby, there's a "Nova" Cafe. Nova was the beautiful, mute Nubile Savage played by actress Linda Harrison, who befriends both Taylor and Brent in the original films.
Gen-Sys scientist Linda Andersen is named after Nova actress Linda Harrison.
Steven Jacobs, head of Gen-Sys, is named after Arthur P. Jacobs, the producer of the original film series.
Caesar's mother was nicknamed "Bright Eyes," the nickname Zira gave to Taylor in the 1968 film.
A female chimp is named "Cornelia."
A bonobo is named Koba, like the protagonist of Alexander Kazbegi's "The Patricide." Guess what he ends up doing to his metaphorical father Jacobs, personification of Gen*Sys — not to mention the fate of all other humans. Also, it was Josef Stalin's favorite pseudonym.
The movie that Rodney is mouthing along to stars Charlton Heston.
Rodney is named after Roddy McDowall, who portrayed Cornelius and Caesar in the original film series, as well as Galen in the live-action TV series. Rodney revealing to Will that Caesar spoke mirrors Cornelius revealing in Escape that an ape named Aldo was the first to speak, his first word being "No."
The cops chase after the apes on horseback with night sticks, similar to the apes on horseback chasing after Taylor in the first movie.
Buck jumping at the helicopter and getting shot is similar to King Kong getting shot down by airplanes.
Serkis played King Kong in the 2005 remake.
Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Unlike Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, where Caesar is given that name after he picks out of a dictionary (albeit Armando had already given him that name prior), this film has the chimp being named by the father of the human protagonist starting to quote Julius Caesar once he sees the baby ape.
Smart People Play Chess: An early sign that Caesar is progressing way beyond ordinary chimp capacity. Also that he is able to think strategically, plan ahead, and utilize numerous subordinates with differing skills and abilities. Just in case that will come in useful later.
Soft Glass: The Apes charge through tons of glass with no ill-effects.
The Sons and the Spears: Caesar does this with Maurice to explain why he's trying to get the apes to band together.
Take My Hand: Averted; Caesar thinks of helping Jacobs, but then walks off and lets Koba shove him off the bridge.
Taking the Bullet: Buck shoves aside Caesar when the helicopter pilot starts shooting at him, then charges.
Third-Person Person: Caesar. With a sample size of 1 ("Caesar is home"), it's hard to say if it's an example of Hulk Speak or if Caesar is imitating his namesake Julius (who Will's father is fond of quoting).
Timeskip: Three major ones occur within the 105-minute timespan of the film. The first occurs during the Distant Prologue, or at least the distant prologue presented in in Bright Eyes' flashback, creating an undetermined amount of time between when she was captured and brought to the Gen Sys laboratories. Two more timeskips occur after that, whittling down 8 years of Caesar's life into 40-70 minutes.
Too Dumb to Live: Dodge Landon. Even if Caesar wasn't aiming a hose at him at the time, what kind of idiot arms an electric prod, whilst standing in a puddle?
All three ape-housing facilities that we see have the worst animal-handling policies imaginable.
When testing a new virus (ALZ-113) and you see another scientist get exposed to it, do not simply assume he's okay because he says so, not bother to check him for contamination or immediately let him go home?! Congratulations, you've just doomed humanity!.
Towers of Hanoi: named in the film the "Lucas Tower", after its inventor, even though no one calls it that.
Trailers Always Spoil: Bucks death by taking down the chopper, was one of the most used scenes for promoting the film.
Averted with Caesar's ability to speak. All of the trailers kept it hidden, maintaining the surprise and shock for audiences in theaters when he shouts that first word
Twenty Minutes into the Future: Assuming that the beginning takes place in modern-day 2011, that would point the film's events taking place between 2014 and 2019.
The fact that the story takes place in the future is confirmed by a brief reference to a manned mission to Mars.
Unstoppable Rage: Caesar, when he sees Charles Rodman being bullied by his neighbor, goes berserk and attacks the neighbor, eventually biting off one of his fingers until Will Rodman manages to call out to him and snaps him out of his enraged state.
Undying Loyalty: Caesar apparently earned this from Buck the gorilla when he let him out of his cage for the first time.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Will's neighbors don't notice a large primate looking out his windows and ask about it. No one notices the primate in the back of his station wagon as he drives around.
We Need a Distraction: Caesar and his apes battle the California Highway Patrol on the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a distraction so that most of the apes could escape by crossing the bridge from underneath undetected. Also, Will needs to get past the police to reach Caesar, so Caroline climbs onto the railing to get their attention.
We never see what becomes of Caroline after the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge. Did she actually get arrested? Do she and Will get back together? Then again, considering that it's shown already that the human race is doomed, maybe we're better off not finding out.
John Landon also vanishes from the film rather abruptly; he is last seen discovering the police watching security cam footage of his son's death at the hands of Caesar.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? - sort of. Despite making short work of the California Highway Patrol, the apes never seem to bother to take their guns despite having numerous opportunities to do so.
Plus, sending the cops in with bats rather than guns once they make it to the bridge.
You Shall Not Pass: Done with an orangutan wielding a manhole cover and a gorilla wielding a parking meter he ripped from the pavement. Exactly as awesome as it sounds.
You Will Be Spared: Will Rodman, Caroline, and the person in charge of the San Bruno Animal Pound were spared without a single scratch. Rodney, the guard who worked alongside Dodge is an interesting case: Though he was at the mercy at a furious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, he was still spared since, compared to Dodge, he treated the apes with more compassion and actually tried to stop Dodge's ruthless tactics on more than one occasion.