Evolution becomes Revolution in the savagely explosive return of “The Planet of the Apes” franchise. This could be the best action film of the summer.
When Will Rodman, a genetic scientist (Oscar-nominee James Franco) creates an extra-ordinary new drug that can restore brain function to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease the authorities stipulate that he must try out his drug on a non-human test subject. Enter the Ape, a small chimpanzee named “Bright Eyes” is thought to be the perfect test subject.
The results are incredible but the side-effects are lethal and the program is quickly terminated. The story would end there, except just before her extermination, Bright Eyes gives birth to a Baby Chimp that Will aptly names Caesar. As time passes and Caesar grows into adulthood it becomes obvious that he is a special chimp, with incredible intelligence that is exponentially increasing. Soon Caesar begins to resent his human captors and the cage they keep him in.
Our greatest discovery has become our greatest threat, as Caesar revolts, escapes and leads his fellow apes in a battle for earthly domination.
Superbly directed by Rupert Wyatt, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” reinvents the franchise by exploring the dangers of playing God (genetic invention). The Apes in this new prequel have been created by Weta Digital, the New Zealand based company behind Lord of the Rings, Avatar and King Kong and the results are spectacular. Never has a Chimpanzee appeared so human and yet so primal and terrifying. I for one, will be skipping the monkey enclosure on my next trip to the zoo.
Long time Fans of the franchise will find references to the original films scattered in delightful treats throughout the narrative. The franchise is back, it is an exciting new film, boldly constructed and well worth watching.