Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rupert Wyatt | 2011 | ★★★½
After his research into a cure for Alzheimer’s disease appears to have gone badly wrong, a young scientist (whose father suffers from the condition, rescues from being put down an incredibly smart baby chimp) whose remarkable intelligence results from his experiments. For a while, bringing the chimp up like a son whilst also surreptitiously treating his father with the drug, things go well for three of them (four, when he starts dating an attractive young primatologist.) However, when the chimp attacks a neighbour and the drug stops working, a sequence of events is put in motion that will eventually lead to a new simian-dominated world order, as seen in 1968’s Planet of the Apes. Eschewing the modern tendency towards bloated running times, hyperkinetic editing, and loud explosions, this is a summer blockbuster of relative restraint and intelligence, which uses its outstanding effects work to further, rather than replace, its story.