The motion-capture apes take another step toward world domination in a sequel just as good as its predecessor, and certainly a step forward when it comes to pure, unadulterated ass-kicking ape action. The movie picks up 10 years after a well-meaning doctor played by James Franco first shot an experimental drug into a chimp and unintentionally initiated the end of the human race. Caesar (Andy Serkis doing his motion-capture best) is leading a group of genetically modified apes in the redwoods near the Golden Gate Bridge. Life is good, and the humans have seemingly disappeared thanks to the Simian Flu brought on by the Franco character’s experiments. As it turns out, some humans have survived, led by Gary Oldman’s frustrated Dreyfus, who fears the humans will soon run out of fuel for their generators. There’s a chance for some hydraulic power via a dam in the woods, a dam that just happens to be near the apes compound. A band of humans led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke) sets out to repair the damn, stumbles upon the apes, and those apes aren’t happy to see them. Koba, an ape who figured prominently in the first film, returns, and he has no interest in a peaceful existence with humans. So, they fight, and they fight in glorious and exciting fashion. Matt Reeves, who directed Cloverfield, Let Me In and the vastly underrated The Pallbearer, proves a more than ample choice for this movie. He’s already been announced for the sequel, due two years from now.

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