Remakes are often tricky territory, especially when an original – like Planet of the Apes – is a qualified cult classic. But rather than risk the backlash of tampering with such a beloved series from the 70s – and getting it horribly wrong – Rise of the Planet of the Apes follows the Blockbuster prequel trend by exploring how the Apes got so clever in the first place to eventually take over the Earth.
It starts with scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) who tests a potential cure for Alzheimer’s on orphaned chimp, Caesar (Andy Serkis). He reacts promisingly to the drug, developing heightened intelligence and an enormous capacity to learn. Consequently, Caesar becomes frustrated with his inferiority to humans, and in an attempt to end to his victimisation; he exposes other apes to the ‘cure’. The result? Caesar leads an ape revolution for supremacy and war ensues.
Initially, the plot seems rather superficial with a rushed and predictable ending, but the film manages to acquire depth by touching on issues such as animal testing and the ‘science vs. nature’ debate. The visual really s do steal the show with spectacular detail and realism, and if you’ve always been a fan of the original series or perhaps enjoy sci-fi films like I Am Legend, this is a must- see. For everyone else, well… it’s worth getting a ticket just for the special effects! (Monique Todd)
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes is in cinemas from August 11th.