Forget the monkey suits from the 1970’s original, even the 2001 remake has not a patch on this newest offering which I found not just surprisingly entertaining but also emotionally touching in places. I never thought I’d say this but the Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a great watch.
Most of us are pretty familiar with the Planet of the Apes films which tell the story of the takeover by apes and the subsequent downfall and enslavement of human kind. It was just a matter of time before there was a pre-quel, a film which depicts how it all began, and writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and director Rupert Wyatt came up with a real gem. Not only was it an intelligent script, there was also great directing and performances by the actors as well as the amazing CGI which made the apes seem so real; Andy Serkis did an fantastic job at bringing the emotions of the main character, Caesar, to life.
Desperate to find a cure to Alzheimer’s disease which is destroying his father, scientist Will Rodman (James Franco ) works tirelessly to come up with a type of virus which encourages the brain to heal itself. A chance to impress financial backers with the wonder drug goes completely wrong when his star ape, nick-named Bright Eyes, goes berserk while protecting her newborn baby and is shot dead. Forced to put the remaining apes to sleep, Rodman takes little Caesar to his home until alternative accommodation can be found, however, the new arrival proves to be far more advanced than other apes. While his intellegence grows Caesar quickly becomes one of the family with Rodman discovering that Bright Eyes had unexpectedly passed the affects of the drug to her unborn baby. He takes the step of giving the drug to his father, Charles (John Lithgow ) who improves almost immediately, however, as Caesar becomes more aware, questioning who and what he is, Charles deteriorates rapidly leading to an encounter with a neighbour and Caesar trying to protect him. Caesar becomes separated from his family and is placed into a type of kennel for monkeys where he is mistreated. Hurt and confused Caesar develops a dislike of humans and in a plot of revenge steals phials of the drug, making his inmate monkeys intelligent, and together they make a break for freedom.
Seriously, I was really surprised at how good this film really is. One tip though, hang on until the credits roll.