xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a title suggesting need for a sequel, because in this film, the chimpanzees only get as far as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Today San Francisco, tomorrow the world. It develops the notion that chimps, who as we know are only a few genes separated from humans anyway, require only a new wonder drug to become fairly good at chess.
The film opens at a big drug company, where Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who has developed ALZ 112, a possible treatment for Alzheimer's. He tests it on chimpanzees, who unexpectedly zoom up the IQ chart and develop enormous sign-language vocabularies.
Alas, a test animal goes berserk and attacks a board meeting, and the experiment is called off — odd, because scientists should have known what the rest of us know, which is that chimps are charming until they sexually mature, after which they develop the characteristics of, well, wild animals. Assuming that ALZ 112 works, it might be safe to test on Grandpa without running much of a risk of his pounding on people with his walker.
Will is touched by the plight of a helpless baby chimp and takes him home "for a few days." Days turn to weeks and years, and Caesar exhibits incredible intelligence and the body language of a Marcel Marceau. During the same period, Will grows close with a primatologist named Caroline (Freida Pinto), who becomes Caesar's surrogate mother. Whether she becomes Will's surrogate wife is an excellent question; the movie displays the usual PG-13 shyness about intimate details; when she kisses him some years into their relationship, it's as if she's finally making a statement. I expected her to be employed as a device for getting lots of info about chimps into the dialogue, but no, she doesn't know much more than anyone else.