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The Planet of the Apes rose to great critical acclaim and considerable commercial success back in 2011 (1m don’t you know?) and so a sequel was destined to follow, especially with the doozy of a graphic that played over the end credits, with the virus making its way so devastatingly across the globe.

Having Risen, the Planet is down Dawning under the watchful eye of director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) and we get to see Caesar grow from liberator of fellow apes to leader of growing community. But he is by no means the only significant cinema ape that is worthy of a little attention. Here are six of the best.


1. Caesar – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

From cute little baby chimp to finger biter, liberator, leader and speaker of real words, Caesar was a compelling and fleshed-out character with huge credit due to Andy Serkis’ typically brilliant performance capture work.

His devoted but aggressive protectiveness of John Lithgow will no doubt see a through-line in Dawn as Caesar takes on responsibility for his family of apes and the disorientation Caesar experiences when first left at the ape “sanctuary” is brilliantly conveyed given the pixellated rendering of the performance.

Caesar’s transition makes him perhaps the most fully-formed character in this list and although it would have been understandable, even forgivable for him to have been anthropomorphised, he remains an ape through and through.

Best Ape Moment – “No” – a legend begins…

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.