Rise of the Planet of the Apes went from being an almost joke project  to a potentially fantastic sci-fi tragedy that encompasses the fall of humankind. All in the space of an official teaser trailer. If nothing else, the CGI simians designed by WETA Workshop appeared to be as close to photo-realistic as any real life motion-capture characters have up to this point.

A full-length trailer has been unveiled for the Planet of the Apes prequel, offering a bit more insight about the plot of the film – and more impressive footage of the digitally-rendered, rebellious primates in action.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes chronicles the efforts of one Will Rodman (James Franco), a scientist living in modern-day San Francisco who has engineered a chemical that could possibly cure Alzheimer’s disease, along with other neurological degenerative conditions in humans. However, in order to test the effectiveness of the drug, Will experiments on a chimp named Caesar (brought to life by Andy Serkis) – with unforeseen consequences.

Also along for the ride are human players like Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) as Will’s love interest Caroline; David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland) as Will’s superior, Steven Jacobs; and Brian Cox (X2) as the cruel owner of the primate sanctuary where Caesar and his fellow apes reside.

Check out the Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer (via Yahoo! Movies):

There appears to be an almost Shakespearean tragedy at the heart of Rise of the Planet of the Apes; between Will’s conflicted feelings about being a man of science and a father figure to Caesar – and the intelligent primate’s anger towards his inhumane captors (not to mention, his possible suffering from an Oedipus Complex) – there is some juicy dramatic material being explored here. That alone could be enough to prevent the film from falling into the trappings of a cliché cautionary sci-fi tale – which, with lines of dialog like “You’re trying to control things that are not mean to be controlled!”, Apes looks to be at a slight risk of becoming.

On the action side of things, Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks to impress as well. The digital primates are overall quite expressive and move with appropriately animalistic grace and power. While the effects look a little less convincing on a small computer screen, they’re still arguably as realistic as just about any other CGI visuals put to film – and the primates will surely look all the more believable when you watch them smash cars, swings through trees, or tackle helicopters mid-air up on a big theater screen.

Finally – one potential leap in logic that (as several Screen Rant readers have pointed out) could have a negative effect on Rise of the Planet of the Apes concerns the idea of apes actually overthrowing human society – given our modern-day military and weapon complex. Director Rupert Wyatt has actually gone ahead and already addressed this issue, with the following explanation:

“[‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’] is about leveling the playing field in terms of if a revolution were to start in our day and age with a species that was looking to take on humanity, I think we could all safely say that it wouldn’t have a chance in hell. We are the alpha of our world. But if you were to take certain things away from us, whether it be numbers or technology or whatever you want to call it, of course there’s that chance.”

Rise of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters this summer on August 5th.

Source: Yahoo! Movies