The Apes are back and better than ever!!! While this is my first time since seeing the predecessor film, 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I am a newbie to this kind of series. I have seen Harry Potter, James Bond, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hunger Games, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Now I welcome the Planet of the Apes franchise. Now this will be my spoiler free review for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. My spoiler filled review will be for another day.
Now this franchise started back in the late 1960's with the original Planet of the Apes which starred Charlton Heston and has spawned over four sequels throughout the early 1970's and the franchise in those days was highly successful and has grossed out over $90,000,000 for that part of the franchise with huge praise. Fast forward several years later to 2001 when a remake directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg hit the big screen which got mixed reviews and has grossed over $400,000,000 worldwide. Now we have a rebooted franchise that began back in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes starring James Franco (Spider-Man; Oz: The Great and Powerful) and Tom Felton (Harry Potter). The reboot was a huge critical and commercial success and has grossed out over $500,000,000 worldwide. It was so successful, that Fox decided to move forward with this reboot franchise.
[Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904) takes place about 10 years after the cataclysmic events that occurred in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the apes are now expanding and they have moved into their own territory right outside San Francisco. So ape leader and main character Caesar (Andy Serkis), who is living the good life, finds that a group of human survivors have ascended after the incident on the Golden Gate bridge and are wanting to destroy the evolving ape nation. But there is a war brewing that could determine the future of both ape and mankind.
Now there are several things I want to talk about for this movie. First of all, the apes have totally evolved from the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. At first, they were all just acting like apes for the first half of Rise. But in the second half, after Caesar stole the formula to make the apes smarter, they started to follow him to a revolution. And I loved that. So now the apes have their own land, living in peace and harmony. They are all living the good life. And since the apes are the animals that are our primitive relative (little rhyme there), you can totally feel their lives in this movie. And Caesar, is wanting what's best for his family and his tribe. So that part was amazing. What else is awesome is that the apes are interacting through sign language with their own personality toward Caesar who is an awesome leader once again.
And the human characters are all awesome too. The main dude was so relatable, I could feel that he wanted to help Caesar make peace with the humans. Gary Oldman's character is all messed up. He wanted to take out the apes and save the humans from the ape uprising. Keri Russell is in this movie, she was an awesome addition. Haven't seen her since Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and Guy Pearce. But she was great. There's one kid in the film. Don't know his name, but he was great too.
And I gotta talk about Andy Serkis here. His role as Caesar was the core of these two reboot films and I loved every minute of it. I have seen Andy Serkis as Gollum in Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Kong in King Kong and now I have seen his amazing motion capture in an ape named Caesar (who spoke a whole lot more in this film than in Rise. I sure hope he will continue to make these kind of movies for a few more years. He is the best (in my opinion) motion capture actor out there!! Keep up the great work Serkis. Sure hope he will get an Oscar for his role as Best Hero in 2015's Oscars show. Be sure to look for him in 2015 with [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158).
Now other motion capture CGI apes include Toby Kebbell as anti-hero turned villain Koba, who is totally messed up in this film (wait for my spoiler review), Judy Greer as Caesar's wife Cornelia and Dock Shaw as Caesar's young son Ash. These guys are pretty much only the first in many newbie CGI motion capture actors yet to come.
The film is directed by Matt Reeves who is replacing Rise director Rupert Wyatt, who was a bit angry with what Fox's time table for this film was going to be. Screenplay was written by Rise and Avatar screenwriters Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa. Their draft was rewritten by newcomer to the franchise Mark Bomback. And I give all these guys credit for such an amazing job. Reeves and Bomback are already in line for a third film in this rebooted franchise. (Oh boy)
So I now give my rating of this film to being 9/10 stars for being a great sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes with such amazing CGI, a great director, an awesome screenplay and a well directed story.
Now be on the lookout for my spoiler heavy review. Because I'm going to get into some more depth on this film with the spoilers.
My question to you guys now is Which of the Planet of the Apes films have you seen? Which is your favorite? Leave your comments below and tell me what you think.