Contributed By Audrey Yeo
This reboot of the original series is a satisfying creature feature with heart. In a reversal of circumstances from 2001’s Planet Of The Apes, James Franco is Will Rodman, a scientist in San Francisco carrying out lab tests on chimps in order to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Problem is, the retrovirus that is meant to help humans also gives its animal test subjects human intelligence. When a mother chimp goes on a rampage, believing that her offspring has been killed, the order goes out for all the primates to be put down. Will sneaks the dead mother’s child back home out of compassion for him, and names him Caesar.
Through a turn of adrenaline- and emotion-filled events, the super-smart Caesar finds himself turned against the human race. He soon wins the trust and respect from his fellow apes and becomes the ringleader of a feverish uproar for supremacy against the humans.
The movie’s most impressive aspects are its fine use of CGI, rendered by the wizards from WETA (yes, the same guys behind Lord Of The Rings and Avatar) and more importantly, the uncanny talent of Andy Serkis (who played LOTR’s Gollum) for non-human roles. His role as Caesar is a big part of why the movie ticks, blurring the audience’s allegiance between its own kind and the “enemy.”
Also starring Freida Pinto and John Lithgow as Charles, Will’s Alzheimer’s-ridden father, this Rupert Wyatt live action blockbuster joins the ranks of the last Harry Potter movie and X-Men: First Class as this summer’s top draws.