The Rise of the Planet of Apes
measured well against the original and I cannot now remember why I did not go and experience in the large screen theatre.
The star of the film is the Ape Caesar brilliantly played by Andy Serkis. Brian Cox plays a keeper of rogue Apes and Baboons ordered into state captivity although that such a number should be held in this way is surprising as are the number of Apes who eventually make their way and home to the Red Wood trees at the end of the film. Apart from these challenges to credulity the rest of the film is excellent and features an obsessed research scientist using the creature to test a new medication which could repair the damaged brain cells as in his father who in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s.
On the day of the great demonstration to shareholders and financial backers the show Ape, showing human levels of intelligence, runs amok. The trial is ended and the scientist ordered to put down the chimps. The scientist then discovers the reason for the aggressive outburst was that she had given birth and was protecting the new born. Unable to execute the baby he is taken home and it is quickly realised that the creature possesses great human powers of understanding and communication. The medication is used on the father who shows remarkable recovery for a time however there is a serious relapse and during this the Ape goes to the defence of the father and is ordered to the sanctuary by a court.
Meanwhile the scientist having disclosed that his discovery could lead to the improve of abilities in the able bodied as well as repairing the damaged is given great resources but following the deterioration in his father he want to suspend clinical trials pending further investigation of side effects and consequences. This is refused and he walks away from the research.
In the sanctuary Caesar is bullied as are other creatures by the son of the owner. He is progressing in in his development and yearns to live free in the Red Wood having been taken there by the scientist and his partner. He becomes the secret leader of those incarcerated and breaking out raids his former home for the medication held there and then into the research centre where he also releases the other apes there as well as from the City Zoo. The full forces of the authorities are assembled against the Apes leaving the City across the Bridge and into the Wood.
It becomes evident that Caesar has learned to imitate the human voice. The scientist having previously brined the Cox to release the Ape was shocked to find that Caesar chose to stay to free his friends and deal with those who had bullied and tortured. The scientist attempts to stop the fighting that breaks out but eventually realises they had reached a point of no return and wishes Caesar well in his new free life.
Meanwhile his former research assistant had been contaminated by the medication in the form of a gas and dies. It appears that virus has been unleashed to cause havoc among the human population although this aspect is not developed other than to suggest a global pandemic! The film has been widely acclaimed winning several awards as well as nominations including an Oscar nomination for Visual effects. The performance of Serkis was also highlighted with several nominations as Best Support Actor including by associations who have not recognised performance capture as real acting. I look forward to the Dawn of the Planet of Apes in May 2014.