Will Rodman’s (James Franco) father Charles (John Lithgow) suffers from Alzheimer’s. As Will at the same time is working as the star researcher in one of the worlds largest (imaginary) pharmaceutical companies, he is naturally working to find a cure for his father’s illness. For testing purposes he is naturally using chimpanzees. One of these are responding very well to this new treatment (medicine), but on the day Rodman is going to present this new drug for investors, the monkey suddenly goes aggressive on them and goes into a rage, which nearly destroys the laboratory and some of the surrounding offices. This causes Rodman’s boss to immediately close down the project and having all the testing animals destroyed.
Afterwards it turns out that the reason for the chimpanzee’s rampage tour, was not that the drug had made it crazy, but that it had protected it’s unknown little baby. As Rodman cannot put this little creature down, the only solution is to take it home with him. And this little addition to his family, consisting of his father and him, is to be named ‘Caesar’…
Caesar turns out to be a very bright little fellow, and in a matter of weeks, Rodman has got a girlfriend, Caroline (Freida Pinto, known for ‘Slumdog millionaire’), and his father is on the mend, because he is given the same drug as Caesar’s mother.
A special scene worth mentioning, is when Rodman, Caroline and Charles takes Caesar to the Redwood National Park, and we see the little fellow right away feeling at home, swinging from branch to branch, going higher and higher in these 100+ metres tall trees, all while five years are passing by, and we see Caesar growing up in the process. Very nicely done by the graphics wiz department!
A couple of scenes ties, almost seamlessly, into ‘Planet of the Apes’. On TV we see the launch of ‘Icarus’, the space rocket that are going to take the first humans to Mars. Later we see a front-page of a newspaper, which says ‘Lost in space’ referring to ‘Icarus’ having disappeared during it’s mission to Mars. Of cause we all know, or should know, what have happened to the rocket :-).
Oh yeah, in one scene Caesar plays with a (part of a) lego-like model of The Statue of Liberty, which is another hint to film connoisseurs. Another little gem, is that Tom Felton (better known as Draco Malfoy in ‘Harry Potter) is in this film too. Not that his part is unforgettable, but he is really a mean guy in this movie – too!
The movie isn’t an action movie as such, actually it’s more a sad movie about the stupidity of mankind. Well, as this flick ends where the rise of the apes has just begun, it cries out for a sequel. Of cause this sequel has been made twice already, in 1968 and 2001, but still it must be possible to make a better version. As i was the case for ‘Super 8’, I must once again urge you remain seated during the (first part) of the end credits, as a lot is revealed as to how it eventually will be possible for the apes to take over…
Overall I hate these reboots and remakes – look at the 2001 version of ‘Planet of the Apes”, which was terrible. However this reboot works, I was really positively surprised, so I’ll give award ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ 4,5 stars.