When the trailers for the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes hit the web, there was a mixed reaction from the purist fans of the original Carleton Heston classics. Those same fans tore the 2001 Tim Burton remake to shreds for being a shameful, hollow attempt at re-creation.
But after viewing this latest addition, one can't help but to be turned around at this excellent prequel.
Just as scientist Will Rodman, played by James Franco, is on the brink of discovering the cure for Alzheimer's disease, the experimental ape that proves that the formula works mysteriously goes wild, destroying any hope of further research funding. This event forces Will to take matters into his own hands. His plan is to raise Caesar, the offspring of his original ape, at home and study his miraculous progress alongside that of his ill father, played by John Lithgow, who is an Alzheimer's patient who he secretly continues testing his formula on.
Years go by and Caesar grows up, becoming more intelligent than ever thought possible. But after an altercation with a neighbor, Will is forced to place Caesar in a primate sanctuary. There, Caesar refuses to sit by while the apes around him are treated horribly.
Caesar formulates a plan to remedy the situation and the world will never be the same again.
Both the CGI and motion capture process used to film this movie is honestly award winning, and as a fan of this franchise, I have to say that the apes have never interacted so well with there surroundings and fellow cast members.
Now add to the visuals a perfect setup to an epic climax, one that is sure to have you forgetting that you're supposed to be on the humans' side.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is summer gold. I have to give all involved a tip of my hat and an outstanding rating of, wait for it, a perfect 4 out of 4 miners.
By Michael Esser