Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language.
The sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is intelligent and intense, vividly rendered and visceral in its action sequences. Andy Serkis once again offers his immersive and technically exquisite powers of transformation to play Caesar, the leader of a group of highly sophisticated apes who’ve taken over after a virus devastates the planet. He works reluctantly with a human (Jason Clarke) who hopes to get a dam up and running to provide power to the few survivors remaining in San Francisco. Mistrust and misunderstanding bring both groups to the brink of war. Director Matt Reeves’ film is both intimate and thrilling but it’s also extremely violent, filled with gun battles and massive amounts of firepower. And the apes themselves — which are more textural and realistic than ever, thanks to some extraordinary computer-generated effects — are probably way too frightening for most young viewers when they are in full-on rampage mode. This is probably OK for kids age 10 and older.