This film doesn’t miss by much receiving our Dove Seal so it is a bit disappointing in one respect and yet it came close and definitely is a big improvement over the Tim Burton remake from around a decade ago. The film crosses our line of acceptability in the language department and also just lands on the number three in content rating for violence, and anything higher than a two doesn’t earn our Seal. The sex content hits a three as well.
The violent moments includes the scene of a young man who is electrocuted by the apes as one of them sprays water on him as he is approaching him with an electrical device to squash the ape rebellion which ultimately takes place in the movie. Up until then, we see a pretty docile film with Will Rodman (James Franco) having developed formula AOZ-1-12 as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s. Will is passionate about doing something about the disorder due to his father Charles (John Lithgow), who is suffering from the disease. The chimp known as Caesar is the son of a female chimp named “Bright Eyes” who was given the drug and Caesar develops brain power in an astonishing way. The film features some very “human” moments such as when Charles is holding his fork wrong and Caesar reaches over and gently turns it around for him.
Will cares for Caesar as a surrogate father would but when Caesar is sent away for attacking a man who was thumping Charles on the chest, one of the keepers of the institute where he winds up mistreats him and the other apes at the compound and Will is unable to free him right away. After a period of time Caesar concocts a plan to use an updated serum akin to the one used on his mother to forge an ape rebellion. The movie features some humor and wonderful CGI special effects as the apes are very life-like. There are scenes in which it will be difficult to believe that you are not actually viewing a live ape on film. The movie also gives the viewer an ending with an open door for the inevitable sequel should this movie become the box office bonanza it is expected to be. Too bad it didn’t quite earn our Dove Seal. Had the filmmakers not monkeyed around and allowed the language, violence and sex categories to go too far, it would have been a different story.