Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the continuation of the re-booted simian series. The ALZ-113 virus caused the world to collapse, killing most of the Earth’s population. Those that remained were immune to the disease, and one civilisation of these people set up camp in New York, just outside of Caesar’s Ape territory. Yes, Caesar is still alive and the head of the Ape community. We see all of Caesar’s fellow super-intelligent apes and how their lives have developed since the humans were practically wiped out. Of course, there is conflict. The Apes discover that some humans have survived and both sides try and achieve peace.
But is the film good or bad? Leah and Dave battle it out!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the biggest films in cinema. It beautifully combined CGI and live action to bring CGI animals and humans side by side. Forget Avatar. Planet of the Apes was real, cinematic art.
The director, Matt Reeves didn’t stop there. The sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has met all expectations set by the first film. It has just as much of a cinematic masterpiece as the first, with brilliant actors, an outstanding plot and amazing graphics, it is one of the best films released this year. There are moments of great action, other moments of extreme emotion and meaning. Even a few bursts of comedy to keep it balanced.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a star-studded cast. Andy Serkis returns as the voice actor of Caesar, showing off his amazing talents again as an Ape that is becoming fluent in English. The rest of the voice actors for the apes also have formidable talent. It must be an extremely difficult job acting as an animal that is learning how to speak. Jason Clarke plays Malcolm, the leader of a small group of humans who become friendly with the apes, and he does well to deal with the roller-coaster of events and emotions that occur throughout the film. We also see glimpses of Gary Oldman (who is brilliant as always) as the leader of the human camp, and Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Malcolm’s son Alexander, who is struggling to cope with the death of his mother
If you have not yet seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes then you should do so at the earliest convenience. To not do so would be a crime against the whole of the film world.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is a visually stunning film with a stellar motion capture performance from Andy Serkis. It starts very strongly, with the cool premise of scientifically altered, very smart apes developing their civilisation in the woods after the fall of man. Dawn, begins as a truly contemplative Darwinian sci-fi film, to match even the 1968 original Apes. Unfortunately, it gradually develops into an overblown, dim-witted action movie that sheepishly conforms to all of the tropes of the action movie genre. It's CG-eye aching - climaxing with explosions, ridiculous slow motion shoot fests and of course a one-on-one punch up between the hero and the antagonist atop a dangerously high structure. By aggressively conforming to the typical tropes of the action movie blockbuster, it loses all the originality and intelligence it begins with and leaves you feeling hollow and sucker punched into watching yet another big and loud Hollywood let’s please the dumb movie watchers by making things blow up extravaganza.
These two new Apes films, Rise and Dawn, do, to their credit, explore the original theme well. And to be fair, both movies are entertaining. This one especially, has some cracking moments. But unlike the original novel and the original film, these movies are just a bit dumb. Also they’re annoying, especially the human characters. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it’s impossible to care about the human side, despite a cracking performance from Gary Oldman. But he’s not the lead, because unfortunately it seems to have become one of the tropes of the Apes franchise to have a wet annoying dumbass as the lead.
Still, it remains better than that shite Tim Burton’s movie was and it’s not the yawn fest that the original Apes sequels were. It rarely gets boring and is often exciting, even if after that initial excitement you realise you’ve seen this same thing many times before but without apes. And there’s the draw. Apes. The apes are all pretty damn awesome. And each one of them can ride a horse like a badass. It’s just a shame we have to see them do it in stylish slowmo while shit blows up all around. And that’s the main problem.
Dawn of the Planet of Apes is an action movie that ultimately replaces substance with style and is completely lacking in originality, losing what made the original ’68 film so special. It’s the Hollywood equivalent of the Simpsons’ musical of Planet of the Apes with Troy McClure.