The subjects of mysterious experiments, chimps BOBO and his clone UDO, live caged in a Tanzanian lab.Ê When a group of rebels set the
lab ablaze, and the animals are set free, the two chimps must adjust to life in the jungle. They join a nearby chimp community, but Udo is irked when Bobo ditches him for a breathtaking female, AJA.
Before Bobo can settle into romantic bliss, he and Udo are captured and wake up in a Washington, D.C. zoo. Bonding once more, they escape and are soon at large in the Capitol. Word of their escape spreads like wildfire. Something weird is happening to Udo too. He's losing hair, growing taller, and becoming human-like. Befriended by a bum community, the chimps are disguised as humans in hand-me-down clothes.
A citywide chimp-hunt begins, driven by a fat reward. Meanwhile, the sloppy FRED and his penniless cohorts teach the chimps fun and tricks of city survival. In one such stunt the duo meets the
sophisticated-yet-gullible socialite ELEANOR, who takes them under her wing. She falls for Udo's crude charm and "manly" looks, and soon has two extra house guests. It's now clear what's happening to Udo the clone. He's evolving.
Solidarity does not last for the pampered duo. His morphing friend's newfound romance only makes Bobo long the more for Aja and the simple freedoms of the African wild. Once Udo has completed his English language classes and, backed by Eleanor, is headlong into
a career in politics, Bobo has truly gone ape. He throws the mansion into disarray. The hunt for the chimps has the city in a simultaneous uproar.
The ending is a thrill-ride of heartfelt suspense. Udo, on his way to becoming a top politician, has all but forgotten
Bobo. But with a final plea of help to his former friend, and a riveting goodbye atop a ferris wheel, Bobo is flown back to the African jungle and to Aja, who has a wonderful surprise waiting for him.
2007 Richard Sartore
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