Last time for the fun of it, we deliberately reviewed a very bad film. But, not this time. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is not only the best film that we’ve reviewed so far this year, but probably for all of 2011 as well. What a fantastic way to breathe new life into this series.

During scientific research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, animal research accidentally improves the intelligence of some apes creating one super-ape who eventually leads other apes to rebellion and freedom. While the new virus injections only help apes to become more intelligent, but later the same virus appears fatal to humans setting up a premise for future episodes of this new reboot of the PLANET OF THE APES series. The last few moments of this film remind you of the devastation of a nuclear war, as a pattern map shows this new virus sweeping throughout the world, dramatically reducing the human population.

THE PLANET OF THE APES is a very durable series, first popular in that late 60’s and into the 70’s. Then there was the new remake with Marc Wahlberg a few years ago which was a very good film. Now comes this new episode in what will become a new reboot of the series for the future. And what an excellent start this is.

British character actor Andy Serkus has been nominated for numerous supporting actor awards for his excellent role acting as Caesar, here, which was digitally created using performance capture technology from Wetra Digital, which has developed some new exterior shoot technology making this film possible. Previously, this technology has been confined to a sound stage. The effects are awesome. And Andy Serkus provides just the right actor to pull off a convincing Caesar. Critics such as Roger Ebert really liked this film as well.

What a great science fiction film RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is. This is a very good movie.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES also seems to offer some important political insights as well without being preachy. The revolution by the apes seems to speak volumes about the political turbulence around the world, as well as much about animal rights, as it does about class, ethnic or race relations. The poor treatment by some humans of the apes only serves to radicalize them and plant the seeds for this revolution. Caesar evolves from the loving pet into the angry adult. Anger at his treatment seems to inspire him to slowly develop something of a revolutionary political view as he is able to comprehend more and more things and seeks to channel his anger into some sort of change.

The Bottom Line: An excellent new reboot to the PLANET OF THE APES series. Very good acting and awesome digital technology both. I hated to see this film end. I can’t wait for the second chapter after viewing this fine film. *** 1/2 stars(Three And A Half Stars, or better than good. Nearly a Four Star film. Certainly buy or rent this one!).

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