Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a sequel to the Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) and follows Caesar as the central character and now leader of the apes. The movie comes from director Matt Reeves who some may know for his work with Cloverfield (2008). The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russel.
I don’t really want to go into the plot too much for this film but it is quite consistent. What’s basically going on in this movie is that Caesar and the apes have established a settlement where they live, but not far from this settlement is also a human city. Relations are tense between the two and we sort of go from there. There is a chance for peace between the two species but I don’t want to go too much into it. For me the plot of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is quite solid, easy to follow and has some great emotional points and ideas. Probably one of the better put together storylines in science fiction films this year.
Where I think the movie is not so great though is in the acting and with some of the human characters in particular. I feel like some of them were very poorly developed especially on the human side. Gary Oldman’s character Dreyfus is very bland and somewhat boring to watch on screen and Jason Clarke who plays Malcolm isn’t all that great either. Some of the scenes with Jason Clarke and Keri Russel who played Ellie were good when they were together but sort of were the slow points of the film.
The acting on the side of the apes however and the characters on this side were all great. I quite enjoyed watching Caesar lead the apes and hearing him speak was always awesome. Andy Serkis did very well with the character. What was also great was the interactions between Caesar and Koba who was played by Toby Kebbell. When these two had scenes together it was very believable that these two apes were chatting. I also really liked the emotions they were able to get out of these characters for the film and really appreciated the attention to detail. I also liked that the apes had their own type of language and didn’t just stick to English the whole time (there is subtitles in this movie) as it added some depth to their society and how communication is structured.
The style and look of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was something that was really special. Like the first film in 2011 which really had Caesar and all the apes looking very real. This one really was a step up. Some of the close ups of the apes faces and their eyes was something really something special. I can see from the look of everything that a lot of work has gone into creating each ape in the movie. I was very impressed with the look of Caesar, Koba, Ash (Larramie Doc Shaw) and many more of the apes. If there is one thing that really stood out to me in this movie, it was the look of all the apes, probably the best looking graphics of 2014 were in this movie. I chose to watch this movie in 2D so I can’t comment on the look of everything in 3D, but for the 2D session I was more than satisfied with the visual effects.
Like any science fiction movie you do get your fair share of symbols and metaphors contained within that you can analyse over and over with people. Planet Of The Apes films always have a lot you can talk about and discuss with people afterwords. There are things in here regarding the concept of hate, war, politics and the fight over resources. Along with some obvious ones such as the dangers of technology and potential outbreaks and their effects on the human populations. There is a lot in here to think about and even talk about with people and that’s something I feel is always welcome in movies. While we have had movies this year that have this as well such as Transcendence, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes does it much better. I think it’s mainly because of its better constructed storyline that it is able to do so and that’s definitely a plus for this movie.
In terms of the directing from Matt Reeves, I thought he did a great job with the film. If there was to be a sequel to this sequel with the same director (and I have heard as much) then I would definitely be interested in watching it. It’s not a masterpiece of film when it comes to directing but Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes does enough to entertain. There is a good fair share of action scenes and occasional explosions. I also really enjoyed the use of fire effects in this movie. While I have said the plot was great and well contained, I think the dialogue for some of the characters really could have been better. As I said the human characters were very bland and boring and I think it’s due to the dialogue, while the plot is solid, it’s not super memorable.
Overall this is a very solid sequel to the 2011 film. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes has some of the best visual effects of in 2014 so far, the eyes and the faces all just look so great. While the characters are not perfect and are a bit bland you do get a fairly solid plot with some interesting talking points and concepts. Overall it’s a good, solid entertainment film and I gladly would recommend for people to see this weekend.