Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movie review - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (PG13) - review by Daniel Kilgallon

Run Time: 130 min
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a new science-fiction/action movie and sequel to the 2011 reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis returns once again for the lead role of Caeser, providing the motion capture and voice of the chimpanzee, while Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell are all featured in supporting roles. I thought that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a fantastic action film that truly rejuvenated the struggling franchise, so I was really looking forward to this blockbuster sequel. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes totally blew me away as it managed to top its impressive predecessor in every way possible. 

Ten years after the ape rebellion from the first movie, the deadly ALZ-113 virus has managed to wipe out all of humanity except for the select group immune to the disease. The remaining humans living in San Francisco now stay in a guarded tower in the ruins of the city. Meanwhile, the superior intelligent chimpanzee named Caeser (Andy Serkis) leads a new generation of apes living in an organized community in the Muir Woods, not far from San Francisco. After only being able to say a few words in the first film, Caeser can now speak many new words and formulate full, intelligent sentences.  Furthermore, all of the apes now know sign language and some can even communicate orally with Caeser. 

Early on in the movie, the apes are threatened by the surviving humans. Eventually, they reach peace as the apes allow the humans to access a nearby dam as a desperate source of power. However, thanks to rebels of both species the peace doesn’t last long and the two sides begin to fight, starting an epic battle for the dominant species of Earth. 

I loved everything about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It did everything a great sequel should do, improving on its predecessor in every way. The apes looked even more realistic, the action was thrilling, the plot was unpredictable (a Hollywood rarity), the visuals were breathtaking and Andy Serkis completely owned the role of Caeser. I will be extremely disappointed if the Academy doesn’t finally recognize him for his incredible acting ability and motion capture work. Anyways, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a sensational science-fiction movie that you don’t want to miss; easily one of the year’s best films.

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