A decidedly old device made new and shiny again, Planet of the Apes Prevolution plays on the eerie similarity between apes and humans with the new and exceedingly realistic technology of motion-capture. With a solid cast, including the hero of motion-capture, Andy Serkis, Planet of the Apes Prevolution makes up for the badly bungled Planet remake by Tim Burton a decade earlier.
Visual effects are definitely the order of the day in Planet of the Apes Prevolution and director Rupert Wyatt summons thrills and chills with his army of realistic apes, which are all played by humans using the aforementioned motion-capture. Andy Serkis plays Caesar, leader of the primate army, and he does much to convince the audience that these apes are just as intelligent and advanced as the humans in Planet of the Apes Prevolution.
Caesar the chimp is the adopted “child” of a scientist, played by James Franco, who uses chimps as test subjects for his Alzheimer’s drug. This work has a personal meaning for Will the scientist, as his father, played by John Lithgow, is stricken with the disease and is slowly losing his mind. In an interesting twist, as Lithgow’s character disintegrates mentally, Caesar gets more and more intelligent. Freida Pinto plays Will’s girlfriend in Planet of the Apes Prevolution, but her vet character gets shoved into the background more often than not.
Unsurprisingly, it is the apes that take center stage in Planet of the Apes Prevolution. Caesar’s story from young chimp to adult is the primary element moving the plot forward. Due to his rebellious nature he is eventually sent to a detention facility for apes, which is staffed by a sadistic character played by Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame. Caesar eventually gets the other apes to help him rebel against the prison leading to one of the more amazing scenes in the film.
Planet of the Apes Prevolution is notable for having its primary actor, Andy Serkis as Caesar, not actually appear in the movie. Yet his performance is so nuanced and undeniably human that many critics suggested that he be nominated for an Oscar.