A scientist carries out genetic experiments on apes, hoping to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. A chimpanzee used in the tests, named Caesar, develops superior intelligence and becomes outraged at the human race’s cruel treatment of his kind, forming his fellow primates into an army to overthrow mankind

It’s a thrilling story, occasionally let down by some clunky dialogue and hammy human acting. But these are mere minor niggles when held against director Rupert Wyatt’s breathtaking action sequences, most notably the battle on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The special effects, from the team behind Avatar (2009), are simply mind-blowing – look no further than the seamless CGI on the apes that puts the original 1968 makeup to shame – and easily distract from the muddied morals of a script that asks only vague questions about man playing God.

An entertaining and well-acted origin story, Rise of the Planet of the Apes shatters expectations, delivering a surprisingly exciting, emotionally rich and intelligent movie that’s worthy of its roots as a sci-fi classic.

FINAL JUDGMENT: 8/10 Jeff Goldblums


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