James Franco is Will Rodman the biochemist that has been developing a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and is testing it on Chimpanzees in a high tech facility. After all hell breaks loose in the lab, Will is forced to adopt a young baby chimp named Caesar, who is played by Andy Serkis (who played Golem in Lord of the Rings). Will’s main drive is to find a cure for his father Charles (played by John Lithgow) who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. As Caesar gets older, he struggles to find his identity and where he fits in the world. Will also struggles to keep his little family together and becomes obsessed to find a cure for his father which in turn back fires.
John Lithgow is amazing in this film; he had the meatiest role. His character goes from senile old man to brilliant then back to senile as the cure wears off; spiraling down as the disease comes back with a vengeance. I don’t think anyone could have played it better. The real star are the apes...I am not sure if they used any or all of Andy Serkis facial expressions but ”oh my god” it could not look any more human or real. From the special effects team who worked on Avatar and Lord of the Rings they really went up a notch to portray a real feel to the apes.
The only compliant I had on the film was the ending. Towards the action packed ending, it seemed to get all your emotions way up high but then left you hanging…..I think that was the point. Leave it open for sequels. That’s all good….just was hoping for a little more at the end.
Other than the ending, the film did cause to stir up a lot of emotions in me (which is a big plus) from happy, sad, anger and fear. It is rare when a movie can take you on that kind of rollercoaster ride and leave you wanting more. I remember watching the old movies as a kid with my father and loving it. This film brought me back to that old sense of wonder and adventure. Rent It!!!
4 pugs and a popcorn (4 1/2) out of 5 pugs.