Movie Review: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
Directed By: Matt Reeves.
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell and Gary Oldman.
In the wake of a disaster that changed the world, the growing and genetically evolving apes find themselves at a critical point with the human race.
Set 10 years after the events of "Rise", "Dawn" shows the Apes in their new found home, they have built a civilization and a culture. Humans and Apes haven't crossed paths in two years, until now.
"Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" was one of the biggest surprises of 2011, it was smart, well executed and a lot of fun. And this sequel improves on its predecessor in almost every way.
At the end of "Rise" we see Caesar and his fellow Apes retreat into the Red Woods, where they will build their new home and also that the Simian Flu is starting to make its way across the world.
At the beginning of "Dawn" we are shown the Simian Flu as it makes its way across the world, decimating humanity as it goes. This scene is packed with archived news footage and Michael Giacchino's immaculate score. Humanity is almost wiped out, but a small colony resides not too far from the home of the Apes, but the humans must travel into the Apes' home to get their power back online.
Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes) returns as Caesar, the leader and savior of the Apes, and gives his best performance ever. Some people may think that Caesar is purely a special effect but this is all Serkis' performance. He brings a humanity to Caesar that is astonishing to watch. The CGI in this film is some of the best ever put on the big screen, the expressions of the Apes look extremely authentic. The best looking part of this film is definitely the character of Maurice the Orangutan who I had trouble actually believing wasn't real.
The trailers for the film make it look like Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) is the main character but he is really a supporting role compared to Andy Serkis who gets the most screen time, has the most character development and is the best on screen character that we've seen this year. What's surprising about the film is how much we are aligned to sympathize with both the Humans and the Apes. There isn't a bad side. There are obviously bad members in each of the species but we understand their motivations and why they are the way they are.
From the trailers it seems like Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) will be playing the mustache twirling baddie, his character wants what is best for his people and he is willing to do things to get that. But we sympathize with his character because we understand him and he's really not a bad guy at all. And the same goes for the Apes, Koba (Toby Kebbell) who is the not so good Ape does some very bad things, but he does it because he believes he is doing the right thing.
From the opening shot to the very end of this movie I was hooked. And I give this credit mainly to Andy Serkis, his performance as Caesar is heartbreaking, powerful and completely awe inspiring. At times you forget that these are talking CGI monkeys, they feel real. And they feel so real because of the world director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) created. This post apocalyptic world is totally believable and one of the best we've ever seen in a movie. Although we don't see the war that we hear about throughout the film, we understand it and the effect it had on the world.
This film is a technological marvel, from the effects, to the way it was shot, to the music. This film feels both very large in scale but also quite small because its very grounded, it has a strong emotional core that not many films like this have. I was attached to a lot of the characters in the film and that sounds quite odd when you're talking about Apes but the performances by the actors doing the motion capture were incredible.
Michael Giacchino (Star Trek) takes over from Patrick Doyle and provides a classic, sometimes whimsical score that captures the magic, the action and the emotion of the film perfectly. His score felt like an homage to the older films and really ties it in to the rest of the Apes universe.
I only have one real negative with the film and that is some of its characters. All the performances were great but some of the characters felt like they had no depth. Caesar is definitely the best character because he has a lot of depth to him, he has flaws, strengths and weaknesses that we can empathize with. There are a lot of other characters that just don't have the depth to them that we see in Caesar. There are characters that are purely just assholes or purely just very noble and heroic and it would have been nice to see some different characteristics in the supporting characters. But this weakness in the script doesn't really deteriorate from the overall greatness of this film.
Andy Serkis really does deserve to get some awards recognition for his performance here, I was completely encapsulated by him in this role. This is easily one of the best films of the year so far, I'm giving it an A!
Make sure to let me know down below what you thought of "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes"! Thanks as always guys, if you like this review make sure to check out my Facebook page at - www.facebook.com/jamesmoviereviews - for all the latest movie reviews and news!