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Film / Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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"Ape alone, weak. Apes together... strong."
Caesar (in sign)

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. The film is a loose remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and marks the Origin Story for a new Planet of the Apes universe covering a new take on the backstory to the original films. The movie is notable for the prominent use of Serkis Folk (with Andy Serkis himself playing Caesar) to portray the apes.

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.

A prequel comic mostly focusing on Bright Eyes was put out as a webcomic/free digital comic in the weeks leading up to the movie's release.

Two sequels, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, were released in 2014 and 2017 respectively. Both were directed by Matt Reeves.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes contains examples of:

  • 20 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.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • All There in the Manual: The prequel comic refers to Caesar's father as "Alpha" and details Bright Eyes' days at Gen-Sys.
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary-level, with the credits showing the lethal-to-humans ALZ-113 being spread around the world.
  • Arc Words: "Home" and "No."
    • Also "Apes Together Strong," which serve as Arc Words for all films in this continuity so far.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Apes cannot speak human languages because of the different structures of their vocal cords, not cognitive capacity... but then we wouldn't have two of the most powerful moments in the film, would we? This is best seen in real life as there have been several cases of chimps and gorillas successfully being taught human language but through sign language instead of verbal communication.
    • 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.
    • 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 affect humans similarly.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: It seems unusual for lab scientists being unable to detect that a female chimpanzee delivered fresh from the jungle and into their labs was pregnant and gave birth inside its pen. Their job is to closely monitor the chimpanzee's body.
  • Artistic License – Pharmacology: Steven Jacobs asserts to Will that if the ALZ-113 drug tested on chimpanzee boosts positive results for the chimp subject then it will have the same positive effect on humans. This is inaccurate; despite the fact that chimpanzees share 99.1% of their DNA with humans, their biology is still far too different to always guarantee the same results for humans. Jacobs' wild assumption also violates the FDA-required Phase III trials that new drugs be tested on groups of humans before final approval and distribution on the market. Reality Ensues as the ALZ-113 drug doesn't really do the same for humans as it did with chimps, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas...
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: Averted. The police are not cruel or malicious, they're just trying to halt the apes from running amok fearing that the animals could harm humans. They don't know the apes were both genetically modified and then tamed by Caesar to avoid contact with humans and containing the loose apes is virtually impossible, the only way to stop the apes' stampede is by shooting them down.
  • Bash Brothers: Buck the gorilla and Maurice the orangutan taking out cop cars.
  • Big Bad: Steven Jacobs, who is Rodman's boss.
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Buck gets killed taking out a helicopter that was gunning down the escaping apes.
  • Big "NO!": It happens courtesy of Caesar, and serves as the single most important event of the film.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Caesar and Maurice are fluent in Sign Language.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted: Jacobs dies last.
  • Blood from the Mouth: And the nose, and the ears... the scientist infected with ALZ-113 has this happen to him as he grows sicker.
  • Brains and Brawn: Caesar and Buck defeating Rocket.
  • Break the Cutie: Abuse at the hands of Dodge and the other chimps at the primate facility do this to Caesar.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The CHP officer who keeps hitting Buck in the face with a baton without realizing just how suicidal of a decision that is until Buck pulls him out of his horse.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: That Mars mission is in for a big surprise when they finally return. In fact, it's implied to be the Icarus from Planet of the Apes (1968).
  • 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 and make you a Very Punchable Man. 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Dodge likes torturing the apes with his cattle prod and fire hose. Guess how he dies?
  • Chekhov's Skill: Inverted, sort of. The fact that Will's neighbor is a pilot becomes relevant at the very end, but in a very bad way.
    • Will mentions that Caesar "plays chess pretty well." In case it becomes important later that he has a grasp of tactical and strategic maneuvering, efficiently utilizing subordinates with different skills and abilities, and how to outflank and entrap opponents.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Caesar lures Rocket into the main room of the refuge center and then hits him in the head with a metal gas can as he's coming out of the gate. And then threatens to sic Buck on him.
    • Caesar is this trope. His whole revolution is predicated on him using his advanced intelligence and the apes' natural strengths and abilities to thwart the humans with every dirty trick in the book. Getting around the roadblock on the Golden Gate Bridge by climbing the struts under it, hurling ordinary objects with massive strength to disable vehicles, using handy fog to get close enough to entrenched humans to bring the apes' superior strength and toughness into play, and so on.
  • 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, 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.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jacobs, who's willing to go straight to human trials the minute they get good results on the apes, without making sure it's safe first.
    Jacobs: You make history. I make money.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Goes hand-in-hand with the Downer Ending. The credits roll over an animation of international flight patterns spreading the ALZ-113 virus across the globe.
  • Deadly Disc: Maurice uses the classic manhole cover to take out a police car.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Will. The real protagonist is Caesar.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Caesar invokes this on Rocket after getting the latter to submit to him.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: A scientist working in a lab with viruses somehow just assumes this.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Two supporting characters perish in this fashion: Will's father, and Buck.
  • Disastrous Demonstration: Bright Eyes' spectacular escape concludes right in the middle of an investors' meeting.
  • Disney Villain Death: Jacobs. Off of the Golden Gate Bridge, no less.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • 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.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Pretty much the entire plot of the movie.
  • 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.
  • Do with Him as You Will: Caesar considers saving Jacobs, but then decides against it, walking away and motioning to Koba that it's his call to make. Koba chooses to kill him.
  • 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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For Caesar and the few apes that made it past the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: It is a reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: Apes escape from their own facility and release other apes from a zoo to create an army, before disappearing into the forests.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Koba's introduction sequence has his repeatedly holding out his hand to get more food. The ape has learned Greed...foreshadowing his dark nature, hinted at in this film but emphasized directly in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Evil Brit: Dodge and John Landon. At the very least, they are portrayed by British actors with the former English and the latter Scottish respectively.
  • Evolution Powerup: When any apes is exposed to ALZ-112 or the more-virulent ALZ-113.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Caesar stealing the knife he uses to get out of prison.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: After Will's father's body begins rejecting the treatment, his Alzheimer's starts to set back in. In fact, it gets worse, and his health declines, and he dies.
  • Fog of War: A convenient fog hides the apes on the bridge from the police. One might even say there are Gorillas in the Mist. Fog on and around the Golden Gate bridge is pretty common, so a Justified Trope.
  • Foreshadowing: The final scene of the film (Caesar, Koba and Will) practically serves as a glimpse and taste of the sequel's main plot.
  • Foregone Conclusion: It's called RISE of the Planet of the Apes, so this was to be expected.
  • Freakier Than Fiction: In the film, Bright Eyes is captured as an adult in Africa and shipped directly to Gen Sys in a matter of months. In reality, she would be captured as a baby after all the adults in her troop are slaughtered, smuggled out, and probably traded multiple times as a pet before being acquired by Gen Sys, all while being abused by her sucessive owners, most likely. Poachers don't bother with capturing wild adult chimpanzees because they are too strong and combative, and a corporation like Gen Sys would be under too close monitoring to import wild chimpanzees from Africa to the United States (which is banned). Of course, such a story would probably deserve its own movie, and the writer would have to figure out a way to make Bright Eyes pregnant.
  • 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.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: In this continuity, apparently we didn't "blow it up," as George Taylor assumed.
  • 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.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Yes, ALZ-113 does improve mental functions! To lethal degrees.
  • 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.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: One can't fault the apes for rebelling, humans being bastards (of course you soon find out that Apes are bastards too if you know anything about the movies, guess it just comes with intelligence) and all (some more so than others), but the tests being conducted on them was for a good cause.
  • Guile Hero: Caesar.
  • Guilt by Association Gag: Zigzagged. After the apes kill Dodge, they turn on his unwilling and far more sympathetic coworker, Rodney. Caesar however recognises this and stops them before having him gently imprisoned.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Caesar pulls this on Rocket to get him to step down as the leader of the apes. Rocket is a lot more compliant when Caesar's 450-pound gorilla friend is around to help with the convincing.
  • Hate Sink: While Dodge can be an entertaining Large Ham with two Mythology Gag one-liners and Jacobs himself is an amoral Corrupt Corporate Executive, but does not have enough scenes to make him unlikable enough, Hunsiker basically is a character to absolutely just hate due to his unexplained Irrational Hatred of the film's protagonists and considered a Very Punchable Man whenever he's the Butt-Monkey.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Buck, the main gorilla, has one to take out the helicopter.
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
  • 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.
    Maurice: Why cookie Rocket?
    Caesar: Apes alone: weak. Apes together: strong.
    (apes start fighting)
    Maurice: Apes stupid.
  • 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.
  • I Choose to Stay: Caesar rejects both opportunities he's given to come with Will back home, at first when Will bought his freedom back from the primate shelter and lastly at the end when Will offers to hide him from the police authorities who may potentially hunt down the apes Caesar led into the Muir Woods forest.
  • 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.
    • None of the scientists had any idea Bright Eyes was pregnant?
      • On that note. Creating holding cells for the apes which have dark areas which the scientists cannot see into.
    • If Will would have told his boss everything during the five years of his father's 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.
  • Improvised Weapon: The apes are absolute masters of finding innovative uses for random stuff — wrought-iron fence poles become spears, a manhole cover becomes a thrown anti-vehicle weapon, and a heavy iron chain can kill a helicopter's door-gunner.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • From how Landon uses the phrase "It's a madhouse!" in the original to how Dodge uses it.
    • Likewise, "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" is used by the oppressor, not the prisoner.
    • Also, within the movie, "Stupid monkey!"
  • It Can Think: The whole plot.
  • 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 is a dangerous wild animal.
  • Just Before the End: Or rather, at the very beginning of it.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Let's just say that being mean to Caesar is not a good way to make it to the end credits.
    • There's also Jacobs, who's killed not by Caesar, but by Koba, who has a more personal reason for killing him.
      Jacobs: Not you.
  • Kick the Dog: Dodge does this a lot, starting with spraying Caesar with a high-powered hose after the latter flings slop into his face.
  • Killer Gorilla: Buck, and most of the rest.
  • 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.
  • Large Ham: Dodge.
  • Mama Bear: Why Bright Eyes goes berserk.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Caesar says his first word, even his fellow apes are shocked. This apparently carried over into real-life for anyone who saw this movie in theatres.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Obviously Caesar, as the military and political genius.
    • Koba, the first successful test subject for ALZ-113. "Koba" was also the code name of Joseph Stalin, which the Georgian based on Robin Hood-type character from a local book, The Patricide.
    • Charles Rodman may be named after Charles Darwin, who is known for contributing to the theory of evolution, a theme in this film.
    • All of the apes, i.e. Maurice, had names that were based on names of apes of the original film series or crew members that worked on the original film series.
    • Alzheimer's victim Charles Rodman, references Charlton Heston, star of the original Planet of the Apes movie, who went public with his diagnosis of Alzheimers.
  • The Mentor:
    • 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 mentor, having managed to teach and improve upon all the skills taught to him within those eight years.
    • Caesar himself will presumably become the mentor for his fellow apes, as they build their own society.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Franklin makes Caesar this to Will.
  • Mood Whiplash: The average audience reaction to the film's climactic moment goes like this. When Dodge snarls "Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape", people laugh (or groan). When Caesar stands upright and shouts his Big "NO!", entire movie theaters fall silent.
  • Monumental Battle: The final showdown between apes and humans takes place on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Caesar's reaction as soon as Will's father snaps him out of his unstoppable rage towards his neighbor.
    • Also, whilst he gets over it quickly enough, Caesar still looks incredibly shocked at Dodge's death.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • 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.
    • Another thing the trailers omit is any of the primates talking, making it seem like it might be a departure from past entries in the series. While it is a departure in some regards, Caesar does speak during the film, starting with his Big "NO!".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Will's Cure version 2.0 allows Caesar to smarten the other apes and cause an uprising which kills at least four people. Worse, it seems that his creation will doom the human race, although probably not in the way one would expect.
    • Will's father refusing the ALZ-113 treatment, in an odd way. Yes, it would have killed him, but they'd potentially have had warning about the side effects earlier and may have been able to curtail the epidemic.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Or 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.
  • 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 Jerkass neighbor's finger when trying to defend Will's father.
    • Rocket when Caesar corners him with Buck the gorilla.
    • Jacobs when seeing the facility's balcony filled with apes.
    • The cops when wrought-iron fenceposts start raining down on their cars.
    • Jacobs again in the aforementioned helicopter scene.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Dodge, occasionally, especially during his more Draco Malfoy-esque lines.
  • Papa Wolf: Inversion. Caesar, upon seeing Charles Rodman being picked on by his neighbor, immediately rushes off to defend Rodman from him, going berserk at his neighbor.
  • The Plague
  • Police Are Useless: Since humans are physically weaker than all ape species seen in this film and they're not capable of climbing, the California Highway Patrol are unable to repel the hordes of apes escaping from zoos. One CPD officer even tried whacking Buck, a full grown male gorilla, with merely a nightstick.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Caesar's first word in the movie may qualify for the shortest version of this trope ever.
  • Previews Pulse: The film's trailers use a metallic chord, which actually does show up in the film once, when the spear-wielding apes appear on a roof.
  • Race Lift: Will, who is white, is more or less a Composite Character of two characters from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes: Armando (who is Mexican) and MacDonald (a black man).
  • Raised by Humans: Caesar.
  • 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 judgment, but still.
  • La Résistance: By the end of the movie, Caesar's ape tribe has become this.
  • Poisonous Friend: A Deleted Scene has 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, which not only is more in-character for both of them but helps foreshadow the problems Koba will cause in the sequel.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Against all expectations, the rogue apes easily defeat a police force with automatic rifles and mounted units on the Golden Gate bridge, thanks to Caesar's excellent leadership and strategic acumen. San Fran's Finest are quickly enveloped and attacked on all sides (including above and below) and soon fall back in a panicked rout. All those chess games taught him well.
  • Roof Hopping: It's easier when you're an ape.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Koba the bonobo.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Along with the apes united on a forest, a disease that will wipe out humans starts spreading.
    • Possibly the Icarus spacecraft evidently disappearing in space.
  • Serkis Folk: Starring Serkis himself. Interestingly, two apes shared an actor, Bright Eyes and Rocket.
  • Shipper on Deck: Caesar for Will and Caroline.
  • Shout-Out: Several of them.
    • 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.
    • The cure, ALZ-112. 112 was the original runtime of the first Planet of the Apes (1968) film.
    • 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.
  • Shown Their Work: Possibly. A leading theory for the cause of the rapid spread of AIDS in North America is "a promiscuous flight attendant".note With even more air travel and an easier route of transmission, the spread isn't that hard to believe.
    • Rocket makes noise with a gas can to reinforce his position as leader. Later, Caesar uses the same gas can to hit Rocket, and ends becoming the new leader of the sanctuary. This is reminiscent of a real case studied by Jane Goodall, where a clever young chimp realized that the noise made with a gas can scared the other chimps and used it to become the tribe's leader.
  • 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.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: During the end credits as the virus that will wipe out humanity spreads.
  • Starring Special Effects: Literally. The trailers said "From Weta Digital: the Visual Effects Company for Avatar"
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Caesar cements his authority in the ape shelter by stealing Dodge's cookies, giving one to Rocket, then having Rocket give cookies to all the other Apes.
  • 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).
  • 13 Is Unlucky: ALZ 113 is the designation of the drug that causes the whole mess.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Caesar. While he seems fine with certain people dying, he is clearly not kill-happy. He jumps in and stops the apes from killing one of the guards at the ape-facility, stops Buck from killing a police officer, and while he personally kills Dodge, he is clearly shocked by it. Besides, it's more an accident caused by Dodge's stupidity than anything else. See Too Dumb to Live below for an exact explanation.
  • 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!.
    • Near the end of the movie, an horse-riding policeman attacking Buck, a gorilla, with nothing more than a baton. He'd be killed if Caesar didn't stop Buck.
  • Towers of Hanoi: Named in the film the "Lucas Tower", after its inventor, even though no one calls it that.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Buck's 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: Caesar apparently earned this from Buck the gorilla when he let him out of his cage for the first time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Uplifted Animal: The accidental result of an Alzheimer's treatment on apes. You can probably guess what happens next.
  • Weirdness Censor: The Sanctuary manager clearly notices that something is off when he sees the apes' "political rally", but he ignores it because it's just a bunch of silly apes.
  • 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.
  • Wham Line:
    • Caesar's Big "NO!".
    • There's also "Caesar is home."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • It's unknown 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 things are better off left unknown.
    • 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. He was supposed to reappear in the woods and accidentally shoot Will while trying to get revenge on Ceesar, but the ending was scrapped and he wasn’t seen again.
  • 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.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Caesar and all the apes of the film. They are going to destroy the entire human world.
  • 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.


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