Ten years have passed since the ALZ-113 Virus or “Simian Flu” swiped across the globe killing all but those genetically immune. Those who survived the virus faced the nightmare that followed, riots and starvation brought what was left of the human race to the brink of extension. The ape population however thrived, having no contact with the troubles of the humans they built a new home in the Muir Woods, north of San Francisco where we last saw them at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. When a small band of humans ventures into the woods to restart a hydroelectric dam that will provide power to the city a fragile peace is reached between the apes and humans. However peace proves short-lived, as mistrust and old animosities both sides lead to an oncoming war that will define who will arise as Earth’s dominant species.
I am falling into the trap of not wanting to say too much because it is the subtle nuances, the delicate shift in relationships between the characters, human and ape alike that makes this movie so much more than a Si-Fi Action Thriller. It is a real dramatic piece of film making, the apes more than hold their own on screen and you feel for them as much as the humans. The overall plot is there to move the story along from beginning to end but it’s the interaction between the characters, the journey each ape and human take that was at the heart of the movie. You see the personal struggles of the apes mirrored in the human counterparts how the build up to war comes not only from hate but from a love. Family, and the need to protect that family is at the core of this movie and it’s hard to pick out a classic bad guy because you really can relate to them all, and no one is necessarily evil.
Why did I chose this movie? I have been wanting to watch it for a while, keep going to other shows but this past Tuesday Keith and I took a trip to see it. I can honestly say that if the entire movie was just Apes it would have been just as watchable. The special effects team have done their job so well that you don’t realize its special effects. The apes look absolutely real, even on the extreme close ups, its breath-taking. The cast is phenomenal. On the ape cast we Andy Serkis returning as Caesar leader of the ape population along side Toby Kebbell as Koba, his second in command. Karin Konoval plays Maurice, the lovable kind hearted Bornean orangutan who is a big nod towards Dr. Zaius from the original and Nick Thurston as Blue Eyes, Caesar young son. On the human side we have Jason Clarke Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee playing the family unit who bond with the apes while Gary Oldman and Kirk Acevedo playing parts on the desperate human survivors. The soundtrack, again which I have purchased was amazing, big thanks to LOST’S Michael Giacchino for that one. You will go through the full range of human emotion with this one, it’s a little bit long so get comfy but it is well worth the watch!