RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Caesar - not a monkey to be messed around.
Caesar - not a monkey to be messed around.

(12A) 105mins

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Starring: James Franco, Andy Sirkis, Tom Felton, Brian Cox

THERE can’t be many movies where the audience is happy to see the demise of the human race.

But it’s testament to the success of this film that you’ll be rooting for the apes in the final half hour of this, the latest ‘Apes’ movie.

Many of you will have seen the original Planet of the Apes from 1968 or even the rather pointless 2001 remake.

Then there were the various sequels which all got a bit silly along with the TV series (which actually wasn’t bad).

Although ‘Rise of...’ is not supposed to be a prequel, it has so mamy references and acknowledgements to the 60s version that most people will consider it as such.

Andy Serkis, now known as a ‘motion capture specialist’ thanks to Gollum and King Kong, plays the chimp Caesar, rescued from a medical research establishment.

Thanks to an experimental drug his mother was on he’s gained some remarkable improvement to his intelligence.

But is this drug all it’s cracked up to be? Scientist Will Rodman (Franco) and Caesar’s father figure discovers some hard facts about meddling with nature.

The plot rattles on at quite a pace but there’s time enough to establish the various apes’ characters while most of the humans are seen as pretty unpleasant.

Of the humans, John Lithgow as Rodman’s dad and Brian Cox (playing yet another American) as the primate ‘sanctuary’ owner are sound enough.

Tom Felton (the baddies Malfoy in Harry Potter) plays another unpleasant character but with a different accent.

If you want some added fun watching ‘Rise of...’ then check out the original and try to spot the numerous references. I noticed Charlton Heston on a TV screen and the spacecraft being mentioned but there’s much more, especially with the character’s names.

However, even if you haven’t seen any ‘apes’ movies you can still enjoy this film as an action-packed, well crafted production.

four out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley