In 2026, when most of the human population has been wiped out by a virus, Caesar is leading a tribe of apes in the Muir Woods; one day, they run into a small group of armed humans… The sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) is more of a robust action-adventure set in both the ruins of San Francisco and the rainy, majestic Muir Woods; the visuals are reinforced by 3D, but impress on their own. As humans and apes are headed for a clash, few will be surprised by what unfolds here, but it is exciting and very well told, with outstanding CGI and mo-cap efforts. This time, Caesar is front and center, and Andy Serkis gives an awe-inspiring performance.
2014-U.S. 130 min. Color. Produced by Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver. Directed by Matt Reeves. Screenplay: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver. Music: Michael Giacchino. Cast: Andy Serkis (Caesar), Jason Clarke (Malcolm), Gary Oldman (Dreyfus), Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee… Judy Greer. Cameo: James Franco.
Trivia: Followed by War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).
Last word: “I’m always looking for a reason to say no when I’m approached about a big studio tentpole because your fear is will you be consumed into the anonymous machine and it will suck out any specificity and point of view that you might hope to express. To my surprise, they were not looking for that. They were looking for a point of view and I was very lucky that they embraced mine. And that they supported my making this movie. So, there was never an attempt to try and reproduce anything from ‘Rise’ except for wanting to return to the well of emotion, continue Caesar’s story and rest squarely on Andy Serkis’ performance for an ape drama.” (Reeves, Indiewire)