Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011 100min.) [Film4 9.00pm &+1]
Sci-fi action adventure starring James Franco and Freida Pinto. When scientist Will Rodman's programme of drug experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease is shut down he secretly takes an offspring from one of the chimpanzees he was using into his home and names him Caesar. Caesar has inherited the effects of the trial drug and begins to show remarkable intelligence, a development that will put him on a violent collision course withthe humans who have abused him.
There's justification for the revisiting of the classic Planet Of The Apes film series on the basis that new technology allows the film makers to use motion capture and CGI rather than people in suits to portray the apes.
Caesar, the ape at the centre of the story, is mostly a motion captured Andy Serkis while the team behind Avatar's special effects help to fill the screen with any number of virtual but believable primates.
In the original series Rise came after the Charlton Heston starring first film and it does make sense, if revisiting the series, to begin with the origins of...story.
And it's done rather well...some of the dialogue is a bit clunky and some of the human acting is a bit too knowing for the tone of the piece and the moral questions raised by the story are largely sidestepped.
But those quibbles aside director Rupert Wyatt delivers some great set-pieces and a touching story and the special effects are very, very good.
A well crafted big-budget Hollywood blockbuster that is extremely watchable.