Wild about the latest ape movie:

Kevin Chill Heard | 7/25/2014, 9:22 a.m.
As a cadre of kind-hearted scientists trek their way to beg Caesar to allow them to work on a broken-down ...
New Planet of the Ape movie is out

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is a box office beast

The “Planet of the Apes” franchise has come a long way since we saw Cornelius and his science boo Zira fawning over their talking “Hu-Man” named Bright Eyes. To be exact, the year was 1968, when Charlton Heston went all NRA and uttered the phrase, “Take your stinkin’ paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”

Now, the eighth installment in the storied sci-fi franchise, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (PG-13 for intense violence and brief profanity), finds a burgeoning nation of genetically-altered primates threatened by a band of humans who survived the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. The ensemble cast includes Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Judy Greer.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” has spent the last two weeks in the No. 1 slot at the box office and is projected to garner more than $600 million worldwide.

In the 2011 reboot “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” we saw our leading genetically evolved primate Caesar go “bananas” and break out of confinement to lead a gang of gorillas to beat down an army of humans on the Golden Gate Bridge. Making his home in the woods as the Godfather of the forest monkeys, we couldn’t wait for what was next for the world’s smartest chimpanzee – yes, way smarter than bubbles and Lancelot Link Secret Chimp!

With the planet now on the verge of an apocalyptic dark age due to a pandemic – the Simian Flu, which has wiped out much of the world’s human population – humans and primates occupy their own turf. And as usual, those pesky humans “accidently” encroach on Caesar’s neck of the woods in search of a source to provide electric power that would be key to rebuilding humanity – and the ability to call in reinforcements incase the apes in the forest get a lil’ froggy.

As a cadre of kind-hearted scientists trek their way to beg Caesar to allow them to work on a broken-down hydraulic power-plant, unaccosted by untrusting primates, Caesar is faced with whether or not to trust the humans.

As Caesar fondly remembers the good old days when he was baby Caesar being raised as the apple of his human handler’s eye, his sergeant-at-arms Koba feels that the only good human is a dead human. Introduced in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Koba spent his days in human captivity being poked and prodded as an experiment, leaving him with a major bad attitude about the human race.

Caesar’s adolescent son named Blue Eyes, is torn between the views of his father and the warrior leadership of Koba.

Fans of past “Planet of the Apes” cannon, continue to be delighted by the numerous nuances that pay homage to the original films and a nod to the inevitable chronology of events pertaining to the storyline.

Kam Williams contributed to this story