Got to experience Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this evening. I say experience, because what I just went through cannot be described as watched. This amazing film will make you realize the depth and feeling that can be emoted by a "CGI" character. This movie blows all other CGI acting, technology, and films clear out of the water.
I went into this movie having missed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and I understood the "universe" the film takes place in. The characters are well explained and the world situation quickly, simply, and concisely so there is no gap of information to those who are new to the film or forgot some of what took place. Set ten years after Rise, humanity is facing extinction. Not from the apes, but from themselves. A virus has decimated the population, while chaos and the human element has annihilated the rest. Taking place in San Francisco, Caesar has led his "family" of apes to the outskirts and have been undisturbed by humanity's downfall. His son, wife, and the rest of his "family" are his everything. When a small band of men out looking for a power station accidentally kill a young ape, the two species meet again for the first time in two years. This is just the first ten minutes of the film, the rest is a very intense drama that plays out pitting Caesar against his love for his ape family and the human family.
The characters in this film make Dawn the amazing film that makes my top 5 films so far this year. Andy Serkis deserves and Oscar for his portrayal of Caesar. Not only do you love Caesar, but you feel terrible for him as well. He portrays a vast range of emotions using only body language with occasional dialog. Across the board you forget that Caesar is “not real”, he moves, behaves, and emotes like a flesh and blood character. The amazing detail that went into the apes unique fur patterns and body movements is astonishing. Never before have I looked at a digital character and wondered if it was real. Not only is Caesar this detailed, but all the chimps, orangutans, gorillas, and other simian species I couldn’t recognize have unique movements, faces, and personalities. My hat off to the amazing work at Weta, and to all the motion capture actors, technicians, and other staff for their work.
My overall opinion is go see this film. While probably not a great kid’s film, due to mild violence and tense situations, it is a film that you should see on the big screen. I think that Dawn deserves and Oscar nomination for Best Film, it is a pure drama that not only makes you think, but (at least for me) will make you feel everything from joy, to sadness, to anxiety (in a very good way) throughout the film.
What did you think of [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904)?