After Tim Burton crashed and burned with his remake of Planet of the Apes back in 2001, most of us thought the franchise died. Obviously the studio didn’t think so. So we started to see trailers for yet another film about Apes taking over the earth. But wait a second… are they actually starting the story where the later films like Escape from the Planet of the Apes were set? This could be interesting.
Brilliant scientist Will Rodman (James Franco… stop laughing!) is attempting to create a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. His father Charles (John Lithgow) is afflicted and is getting worse, so Will starts experimenting a bit wildly on chimpanzees. Things end up going wrong, and he ends up on the outs from his company. But he does manage a breakthrough with a chimp named Caesar (Andy Serkis).
Caesar begins learning at an amazing rate, obtaining more cognition as well as human traits. The drug seems to work on Charles too, reversing the affects of the disease. Everything is going so well, so we know it can’t stay that way. Sure enough Caesar gets in trouble and is forced into a facility for primates. He is treated brutally by the John Landon (Brian Cox) and his son Dodge (Tom Felton). Meanwhile Charlie relapses and Will decides to alter the experiment, giving his cure virus-like qualities. These events set in motion the fate of the world, as Caesar takes a stand and we witness the Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
- Amazing visual effects bring the apes and especially Caesar to life
- Creates an interesting premise to lead us to a planet ruled by apes
- The build up to the great ape escape is filled with tension
- James Franco is a super smart scientist… are you sure?
- Uses quotes to wink at the audience a few too many times
- Those looking for wall-to-wall ape action will be disappointed
An admirable reboot (or is it?) to the Planet of the Apes franchise. The combination of Andy Serkis and amazing visual effects allows us to connect with Caesar and his story. The film builds on itself until the tense finale where things can go very badly. As the wheels are set in motion for a sequel, you’ll find yourself eager to see where they take this story.
Scores (out of 5)
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