This is an extremely well-done update to the Charlton Heston classic that expands on the original premise and brings it into the modern world. Heston's iconic quote is included though and upon hearing it one can't help but applaud. This update brings in thought-provoking discussions regarding animal testing and by making the simians so human that discussion will definitely get even more heated.
The visuals are amazing! This is definitely where modern technology is at its most apparent. The simians are so human-looking. Their gestures and facial expressions draw you in and that's why you root for them every step of the way. I actually had to bring out the tissues during certain scenes, I was that emotionally invested! Caesar (portrayed by Andy Serkis and massive CGI) is an amazing character and had my heart in his hands from the moment his little face peered out from behind the blanket. I found his acting and the feelings he conveyed using only a look to be superior to some of the human actors.
The good guys in this film are James Franco, Freida Pinto, and John Lithgow and they do well with what they're given, but pale in comparison to Caesar and his fellow simians. The villains in the film range from a corrupt drug manufacturer, to sadistic zoo keepers, to the police. They're a bit over-the-top during the film's climactic ending, more animal-like in their disregard for living creatures and again make you root for Caesar and his fellow simians.
This movie definitely has possibilities for sequelization. An issue that was left hanging involves a mutated virus unleashed in to the human population and its deadly affects. Since a sequel is almost a given after the opening weekend's box office returns I'm intrigued where things might go and hope the mutated virus' affects will be addressed. I'll definitely be there on opening night yelling "Hail Caesar" and breathlessly awaiting another glimpse of this amazingly brilliant character!
My rating for this is an A!