Best of 2011: Film Characters (Caesar from RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES)

January 4, 2012

Originally published in The Michigan Daily


In revitalizing the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, director Rupert Wyatt and the team behind 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” turned to an emergent technology that previous installments couldn’t benefit from. The motion-capture CGI innovations of films like “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and “Avatar” used the mannerisms and likenesses of live actors, a trend advanced in “Rise” by placing motion-capture veteran Andy Serkis in the central role of Caesar, the protagonist ape. In a year when films wowed with their specific visual innovations, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” stood out for its creation of possibly the most human-like CGI character of all time. That the character in question is not simply a humanized animal, but is rather an ape whose humanity is itself the subject of the film’s arc, makes Caesar all the more important of an achievement.


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