With Rise of the Planet of the Apes bringing in both box office bucks and critical acclaim, it's probably a good time to check out a few other Ape-centric films. Why? Because the apes are taking over and we should be as familiar with our new masters as we possibly can.
Based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, Congo follows a group of explorers as they trek into the titular region of the world. One of the members of the expedition has a pet Ape that can sign, but the monkey madness doesn't stop there. A plethora of primates show up through out the film and the by the third act the plot really takes a nosedive as cranky gorillas are sawed in half with a laser gun. As with most book-to-film adaptations, the book is leagues better, but how can you really complain about apes versus lasers?
If you thought things couldn't get any more ridiculous than apes and lasers, boy have I got a surprise for you. Monkey Shines tells the story of a young man who's hit by a truck and paralyzed, and then given a trained monkey to help out with things around the house. Not too crazy about being a slave, the monkey slowly develops a seething rage against its new master and eventually acts upon it, taking us from apes versus lasers to monkeys versus quadriplegic.
Every Which Way But Loose
When you watched Dirty Harry, didn't you think to yourself "That man could really use a monkey for a partner"? Maybe you didn't, but that's certainly what we got in 1978's Every Which Way But Loose (and it's 1980 sequel Any Which Way You Can). Clint Eastwood stars as truck driver/fist fighter Philo Beddoe who won an orangutan in a bet. With the manager-like Orville and his bud Clyde at his side, this is Eastwood at his most unstoppable. But not really.
Most would call this the quintessential primate movie and I wouldn't argue with them - but only because I don't like confrontations. Both King Kong and its remake ( the sequels) are marvelous films that should be required viewing for any primate fan or any film fans in general.
Harry and The Hendersons
If I were to name my quintessential primate film - and that's exactly what I'm doing right now - it would be this puppy. While Harry doesn't belong to any known species of primates and is instead a creature of myth, this is very much a monkey movie, full of monkey humor and monkey antics. Hell, it's even got John Lithgow!
There are other monkey movies out there, plenty in the Planet of the Apes series alone, but this list should get you started.