Finally had a chance to catch up with Rise of the Planet of the Apes and boy is it fun. You have Will Rodman (James Franco) a hapless scientist who tries to come up with a cure for his father’s (John Lithgow) Alzheimer’s but inadvertently creates a super serum that he tests out on an ape. The ape grows up to be super smart and displays human characteristics and develops a bond with Will and his father. They end up naming him Caesar after Julius Caesar and keep him away from the public eye by holing him up in their house. Things turn bad when Caesar goes into a fit of rage and attacks Will’s neighbour and gets taken away to a primate facility run by a shady Brian Cox. From there, the film turns into a story about an ape wrongfully place behind bars and has to fight to stay alive. We watch as the other apes take their shots at Caesar and how he stands up to them and eventually convinces them to rise up against their human captors.
The story is ridiculously silly and the CGI is shaky at times but watching Andy Serkis infuse Caesar with a quiet humanity is something amazing to behold. The final riot that takes place on the Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular and well worth the price of admission.
Things could have been a lot worse and Tim Burton’s remake is proof.