A day off of the usual schedule, but it was worth the wait! This prequel episode to The Planet of the Apes series was spectacular! It was filled with action, suspense, and alluring detail which kept an audience bound to the screen. I will say that I enjoyed it!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes begins in a forest setting, with humans cruelly capturing chimpanzees. As the people are using machetes on these apes, the captured survivors are taken to a study lab. There, the chimps are reviewed, and one that has been labeled as number nine is studied for his unusual intelligence.
The lab technician named Will (James Franco) has government funding for the tests. He is using one chimpanzee, labeled as Number Nine, to test for a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease. He wants to attempt eliminating side effects, in an effort to move the testing to human subjects.
One chimpanzee called Bright Eyes escapes the lab. As Will is giving a presentation to his funders, Bright Eyes intrudes. She is shot, and her actions incite the lead funder to motion for all of the chimpanzees to be killed!
Will returns to his lab, wanting to continue testing with the chimp called 112. Also, Will gets hold of the infant of Bright Eyes, and he takes it home with him. There, Will lives with his father, who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. This has been Will’s motivation to use lower primates for testing, as he means to find cures for human ailments.
At his home, will has been teaching the baby chimp. He seems to be gaining more mental awareness, and Will names him Caesar. Will keeps Caesar active, as the chimpanzee has become an exceptional artist, and he plays chess! All the while, Will’s father is worsening with his Alzheimer’s Disease.
As Caesar watches, Will takes some of the lab-test medicine home with him, meaning to help his father. After taking the medicine, Will’s dad becomes exceptionally cognizant, even to the point of playing the piano! Caesar is in the scene also, and he wants to get involved in play actions with neighborhood kids. He entered a neighbor’s yard, and he was mildly injured by the angry resident!
Will takes Caesar to a neighborhood park, where he is allowed to play. He climbs and explores area redwoods, as years begin to pass. After five years, Caesar has matured, and he is wearing clothing. He no longer wants to be a pet, as he has reached a point where he wants to know his true identity. Will tells Caesar that he is smarter because he was a lab test subject.
Will used an experimental drug called 112 to enhance Caesar’s mental capacity. He meant to use the drug as a tool to treat his father’s (John Lithgow) ailment. The drug does control his dad’s illness, yet his father gets into an accident while trying to drive. He strikes a neighbor’s car, and the angry neighbor begins to argue with Will’s father. Caesar comes to the dad’s defense, attacking the neighbor, and biting off one of his fingers!
Animal control is called, and Caesar is taken away. He is placed at The San Bruno Primate Shelter with other chimpanzees. A trainer there begins to work with Caesar, caging him with lesser chimpanzees.
Will is working to fight a ninety-day appeal, trying to have Caesar released. He is trying to find a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease, as prior efforts have failed. Meanwhile, Caesar is upset about having been left at this facility. Will is discouraged because he does not want to lose his father and Caesar!
Will believes the test drug called 112 can defeat Alzheimer’s. Yet, Caesar is being abused by technicians at the facility, but his intelligence is increasing. An accident occurs with an airborn test drug, and it is inhaled by the chimpanzees. One chimpanzee that seems to be the alpha male decides to become Caesar’s lead helper, his general, and he helps other chimpanzees to escape!
The chimpanzees are captured and re-caged. Caesar has been isolated, and he is now angry! More chimpanzees, and other apes that are being tested, are showing signs of intelligence. Caesar begins working with a caged orangutan!
Will returns to visit Caesar, and he sees that his chimpanzee has been abused. He is angry, but he is not allowed to take Caesar. This upsets Caesar as well, which is observed by more caged apes. Caesar now wants out, and the other apes are noticing!
A less than adept facility worker abuses the apes with shock sticks. Caesar gets him by the throat, taking the man’s pocket knife, and using it to unlock the apes’ cages. Now out, Caesar uses a gorilla as his guard, he kills a bullying chimpanzee, and he gathers other apes for his army!
Caesar remains in the facility, as the testers do not know what has happened. He is subjected to another test, which is some form of mentally-enhancing formula. This allows Caesar to stand erect, as he has opted not to go with his former friend/master, Will. Caesar leads other chimpanzees and one orangutan to the formation of an army. He figures out how to break out of the lab building, and he gets to the home of Will!
Caesar gathers more of the test chemical from Will’s home. He takes it back to the lab, and he allows other apes to inhale it. These other apes become highly cognizant, preparing for a revolution in a time when humanity has made it’s first manned flight to Mars!
Scientists now are working with a test drug called 113. Caesar no longer obeys humans, yet he remains a caged test-ape. When one lab worker attempts to inject him, Caesar suddenly screams NO! He beats the lab worker with his own stick, then he locks the worker in a cage. Caesar releases the other chimpanzees, as they go onto kill one lab worker, along with other apes who did not obey Caesar!
The apes break free of the facility, with one gorilla and one orangutan heading into Los Angeles. Will gets to the lab, and he sees the carnage. He learns that Caesar now can speak, as the lead chimpanzee now has his simian army within suburban Los Angeles!
The ape army returns to the lab, where they destroy it. The same chemical called 113, which enhances the lesser apes, is fatal to humans. Caesar and his army have the 113, as they proceed to San Francisco Zoo, and they release other caged primates. Police arrive in attempts to stop them, but Caesar has chimpanzees fighting back with weapons! They ravage central San Francisco, and they defeat the police!
The apes now head for the main lab facility, attacking vehicles on Golden Gate Bridge along their way to the building. At the iconic bridge, a stand-off occurs, and police try to protect humans. The apes now have a battle plan, preparing to strike the bridge from above it, and from below it! Will has arrived there, trying to locate Caesar.
Police are rendered defenseless against the ape army, as their attack continues. The gorillas are positioned as blockers, while the smaller apes attack in a Caesar-lead ambush on the humans! Will arrives there, trying to stop Caesar, yet police helicopters are firing on the chimpanzee.
One gorilla leaps into the sky, destryoing a chopper to protect Caesar. He kills the humans, but he is mortally wounded in the attack. Caesar tries to help the gorilla, then he closes the gorilla’s eyes when he sees that it is dying. After this action, Caesar and the attacking apes have no more love for humanity, as the now homo-erectus Caesar leads an ape battalion into Redwood Forest.
Will arrives, and Caesar protects him from the other apes. He tries talking to Caesar, trying to get him to come home. Yet, Caesar tells Will that he is at home, as he leaves with the other apes! As Will watches, all of the apes stand erect!
Caesar climbs a redwood tree, and he goes into San Francisco. As it is ending, we see that a Navy officer is preparing for battle. Meanwhile, the virus is being spread across the nation, from San Francisco to New York City!
I truly enjoyed this latest take on The Planet of The Apes series. It has been left open for multiple sequels, which I hope will be just as entertaining and exciting! All the while, I hope that an underlying message was spread for the need to have continued efforts toward protection against animal cruelty!
As always, more movies are on the way! The latest Batman trailers are heating up, as The Dark Knight Rises is set to premiere during the summer of 2012. Anne Hathaway will be purrrfectly presented as Catwoman!
Stephen Spielberg has spoken about the next Jurassic Park film! The dynamic director said that this latest chaper should be released within two or three years. That should be plenty of time to have everyone savoring for the next exciting adventure of prehistoric-enhanced peril!
A new Superman movie is being prepared, also! It will be entitled Man of Steel, with Henry Cavill as the survivor from Krypton! Other films to be released soon include Abduction, Apollo 18, Contagion, The Family Tree, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey!