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Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Blu Ray review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of The Apes

Rating: M
Released by 20th Century Fox

Modern day San Francisco and Will Rodman (James Franco) is a troubled scientist, working on a cure for Alzheimers disease and using chimps as well as illegally using his father (John Lithgow) to see if the ALZ 112 cure works.

When one of the chimps which is showing signs of growing intelligence thanks to the trials in the lab breaks out and is killed, Rodman discovers she's protecting a baby - whom Rodman promptly takes home and raises as his own test subject.

Three years later and Caesar the test subject is also showing signs of inherited intelligence and has learned sign language - however, when Caesar attacks a neighbour protecting Rodman's dad, he's locked up in a primate sanctuary.

But it's not long before Caesar's plotting a break out from the chimpanarium his human captors have imprisoned him in...

A reboot of the Apes franchise was in no way on my radar after the somewhat messy Tim Burton/ Mark Wahlberg attempt back in 2001 - but quite frankly, this reboot is perhaps one of the best of the series - and one of the best reboots of a flagging franchise I've ever witnessed.

That's mainly, it has to be said, due to the work done by WETA in creating the chimps and Andy Serkis' motion capture suit work as the lead Caesar. We've now reached an age where digital technology can do pretty much anything and can do it astoundingly well.

While the early digital realisation of the baby chimps is something akin to a Mogwai/Ape cross and a little creaky, when Caesar ages and comes into his own, it's really an astonishingly good cinematic moment (even if early shots of him careering around a home are unnecessary and feel shoehorned in as if to show off what the tech can do) as the ape rises up and begins to emote. There's so much feeling conveyed in Caesar's eyes that you can't help but connect with the primate and his kin and for that, those involved in this film really do need huge kudos as it's never easy to get an audience to empathise with digitally created creatures.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best blockbusters of the season; it's a thrilling, emotion filled and intelligent ride which reinvigorates the franchise and has got me salivating for a potential sequel

Rating: 8/10