ACTION-packed, tense and thought provoking – just a few words that sum up what could be the biggest popcorn flick of the summer, writes Lauren Vamplew.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt, evokes a mix of emotions that leaves you wondering who to root for – the humans or the primates?
Will (James Franco), is a scientist determined to find a cure for his father’s debilitating Alzheimer’s disease.
Upon discovering a medicine, he tests it on chimpanzees to see how they respond to the treatment.
In an astonishing discovery he finds the primates’ intelligence grows, giving Will hope that he’s made a life-changing break through.
That is until the test subject grows violent.
Heartbreakingly, Will is forced to destroy the apes but saves on, a baby born to his prize test subject, taking him home where he grows up with astonishing abilities, thanks to the drug Will developed – Caesar (Andy Serkis).
But after attacking a neighbour in defence of Will’s father (John Lithgow), Caesar is separated from his family and locked up in an ape facility, where he is tortured by a cruel keeper (Tom Felton) to the point where he plans an uprisin.
The sequence acts as a catalyst for the apes’ “rise” and the chaos that ensues.
Overall, this summer smash has an emotional side that tends to over-shadow the violence and destruction, aided by WETA’s digital art work (Avatar and Lord of the Rings) which lends the apes human-like expressions through the use of CGI.
Surprisingly, the story is told from the chimpanzee’s point of view, which is a refreshing take on narrative, and just as well given Franco’s rather bland hero.
However, the cruelty inflicted on the creatures is rather graphic and probably not suitable for younger children.
The emotional highs and lows are, however, borderline inspirational and the action-packed plot will keep audiences gripped throughout.