We’re not being funny but has Andy Serkis considered joining one of those stem cell research programmes? We’re thinking he could farm out a few spare hip cells to grow an ape-Andy, a Gollum-Andy, maybe take a punt on a Wolverine-Andy to sub for Hugh Jackman when he needs a nap between takes. It’d save him cumulative weeks in hair & make up. Cost-effective for the studios too. Just a thought.
In Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Andy and his all-conquering CGI gimp suit plays Caesar, leader of a band of genetically modified apes. These are no ordinary monkeys. Highly intelligent and highly evolved they communicate by sign language, ride horses and Caesar himself even boasts the odd word of spoken English. The clever so and so. Living in the hills around San Francisco where they fled to escape a deadly virus unleashed by humans a decade before, they doing quite nicely, thank you very much.
Not for long.
A small band of humans have also survived the virus. And where there are humans, there is a need for power. Our ape chums happen to live amongst the ruins of an old, broken down power station, which the humans have in their beady sights. So begins a power struggle (no pun intended) between ape and human.
You could read a lot into this. It takes in themes of loyalty, truth, standing up for one’s comrades etc etc. Practically Shakespearan, even before you Hail Caesar. Or if you are of a more base nature, like The Sloth, you can simply sit back and gawp at the quite incredible cinematic vision of thousands of astoundingly realistic looking apes swarming as far as the camera can see. To quote one of the human characters: “They’re talking apes! With big ass spears!!”. What more do you need?
UK release 18 July