The 1968 “Planet of the Apes,” written by Rod Serling, became a classic, spawning several sequels. When I heard that a new, re-imagined version, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” was scheduled to open in 2011, I was not interested initially. However, it received good reviews and had strong word-of-mouth. So I went to see it, and thought it liked it very much.
This summer brings us the new film in the series, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” It is indeed a worthy successor to Rise. Rise concluded with the intelligent ape Caesar, who had been trained to understand language by a sympathetic scientist, escaping sadistic captors by fleeing San Francisco with other primates by crossing the Golden Gate. In the meantime, a deadly, fast-spreading virus was decimating the human race. This set the stage for a civilization of intelligent apes surviving on earth while the human race dies out.