This movie was an unexpected surprise. I was never much into the decades-old franchise of the Planet of the Apes movies, even though I remember I enjoyed them. Talking apes seemed remote, even if I could accept smart apes.
I stumbled upon this prequel by accident, flipping through the channels, and I caught it just as it started.
In a lab in San Francisco, a group of researchers do experiments with drugs on apes, and they discover, quite unexpectedly, that one of the apes – Caesar – is very bright. Due to a twist, Caesar ends up living in the home of the lead researcher and takes on human habits, feelings and aspirations. Of course, a thinking and feeling chimp in the city neighborhoods of San Francisco will eventually attract attention and cause difficulties.
Unlike the apes in the 1968 classic, where they were played by human actors with masks, the apes in this movie are CGI-generated, like the characters in Avatar. CGI stands for Computer-Generated Imagery. This results in excellent special effects, with apes not only looking like apes, but moving like them, walking in the characteristic four-legged knuckle walk, swinging from trees, climbing facades and poles, and during the climax battle, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on its famous cables.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is an excellent movie, very entertaining and due to the realistic portrayal of the apes fascinating to watch. I was positively surprised.