Rise of The Planet of The Apes is a thoroughly entertaining movie. Not to offer a long-winded review, but the film is a totally fresh take on the concept that is unlike any of the previous entries in the franchise. Its origins this time are a fictional Big Pharma facility which uses, and more often, abuses primates, in what transitions from research for noble purpose into a greed-driven quest, and consequently goes terribly wrong.
The incredible actor Andy Serkis (of Lord of The Rings fame) plays Caesar, in an amazing motion capture performance. We watch the adorable simian progeny grow rapidly from baby to adulthood in the home of researcher Will Rodman (played by James Franco) a researcher at the lab and his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father, played by John Lithgow. Caesar’s growth brings with it the expected issues, and eventually leads to his being sent to a sanctuary where his lack of socialization with his own kind is a serious adjustment. But aided by above average intelligence he acquired from drugs used on his mother, he finds a way to make friends and influence apes.
In one of the poignant moments of the film, Caesar, who was taught sign language by his caretakers, is communicating with an empathic orangutan captive, as he is hatching an idea to try and extricate himself and his like from their dismal predicament. He signs, “Apes alone weak. Apes together strong.” That’s a moral which can apply to our collective circumstances in dealing with the opposition and obstacles we face in moving forward.