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MOST action movies make monkeys out of the audience - OTT stunts, outrageous plots, lousy dialogue.

MOST action movies make monkeys out of the audience - OTT stunts, outrageous plots, lousy dialogue.

So it's ironic that a movie about apes has more humanity and thought about it than the rest of the pack. Rise of the Planet of the Apes - the reboot of the much-loved original - was a slow burner, culminating in a fantastic set piece as our simian pals went ape on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

A decade on, and things have gone bad for humanity, much of it wiped out by a global pandemic, which doesn't affect apes. A surviving colony is based in San Francisco, led by Dreyfus (Gary Oldman). But for the colony to survive, they need power - and the only hope is with a hydroelectric dam. And that just happens to be in the forest, where the apes, led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) live.

A team, led by the good-natured Malcolm (Jason Clarke) come into contact with the smart animals, one of whom gets shot. Can ape and man co-exist in harmony?

No prizes for guessing that conflict will develop, with suspicion on both sides.

The sequel to Rise is clever, revealing the suspicions of the likes of Dreyfus, and the warlike nature even of apes, particularly Koba (Toby Kebbell), who's hellbent on picking a fight with the humans who experimented on him in the past.

The growing trust and relationship between Caesar's family and Malcolm is well handled, and the clash that we hope for, though brilliantly shot and executed feels like a chance lost for the planet's survivors and apes alike, so it's all the better for that.

DVD EXTRAS: Audio commentary by the director; deleted Scenes with optional commentary; casting and making-of featurettes.

Mark Evans


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