Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Review
Humanity and Apes clash once more!
Recently I was given the honour of being among the first people to view a move at my local Showcase Cinema De-luxs new X-PLUS screen. Boasting a 3-dimensional sound system and a wall filling screen, this was going to be an experience I’d remember for a while. And the film that graced this momentous occasion was the sequel to the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Following on from the story of the original, mankind is on the verge of extinction. The damage wrought by the escaped synthetic viruses of Gen-sys has exterminated a large portion of humanity and the chaos and fighting over supplies and energy further contributed to the loss of life. With the last vestiges of humanity now in a sealed community, their supplies also begin to dwindle. Caesar however has thrived. He has lead his apes to live peacefully in the forests, raising a family and establishing a community of non-violence and learning. However, in their search for a solution to their power worries, humanity will cross paths with Caesars group once more…
Firstly, it’d be difficult to review this film without mentioning the effects. Rise of the Planet of the Apes used the legendary Andy Serkis for motion capture and the voice of Caesar and he returns to reprise his role of the leader of the apes. With more apes involved in the story, we get to see some incredible effects. The speech of the apes is great, you’ll believe they’re able to speak, its not overused and feels natural. Seeing them move is great and while I expected to root for the apes all the way through, there is constant conflict and tension in both human and ape camps, leading to some exciting scenes.
While I personally felt that the important scene that triggers the storys main plotline felt a bit forced, looking back, the frantic and knee-jerk nature of it mirrored some of humanitys less desirable moments and granted it believability.
Its human cast varied from excellent to background furniture with little middle ground. We aren’t given too much backstory for our main human characters (other than the majority of them lost a loved one or more to the disease/violence) but its just enough that we can see why they make the choices they do (with the exception of one human whose sole purpose for existing is to further the plot by being the absolute worst person imaginable). Gary Oldman is great as the remnants of humanitys survivors and refreshingly, listens to the main protagonist, he’s not simply there as a roadblock to him.
The action scenes are wild and fast and the fight scenes brutal. Every scene Caesar is in, he steals the show, its impossible to dislike him and its a credit to Andy Serkis that you can see him weighing up his options in his mind in his facial expressions, he has a heavy heart with the choices he must make to protect his home and his family.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and looked forward to this sequel and was more than pleasantly surprised. I was worried that the over-saturation of trailers would have ruined the majority of the films important plot points but as it turns out, there was much more to the film than what we were shown. If you were a fan of the first film and want to see more of the incredible special effects and Caesar, I’d suggest seeing this instalment of the franchise and I look forward to any subsequent parts!