Director Matt Reeves and animal extraordinaire Andy Serkis have pooled their collective talents together to create a movie that is imaginative, intelligent, and more importantly goes beyond glorifying apes riding horses whilst wielding machine guns. Even though this is really awesome, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' (DOTPOTA) managed to focus on the ideals surrounding war as well as portraying the similarity between man and ape. This was also achieved whilst expertly building tension and being consistently entertaining/interesting throughout.
DOTPOTA carries on from the previous movie in 2011 still acting as a prequel to the original movies. It's been ten "winters" (years) since Caesar sparked the great ape revolution, which in this passage of time has led to the peaceful development of an intelligent simian society. Caesar being the figurative father of his people, must constantly remind them including his own son that sinking to the humans' level of violence is wrong. Unfortunately, both sides have activists who wish to poke the bear with a stick (one more than the other); and one thing leads to another and the movie becomes a bit more fast-paced.
Being a predecessor to the originals, many things are predetermined in this movie, but one of the things I enjoyed most about it was the fact that I was on the edge of my seat more than expected and should, to be honest. Reeves mastered this well and also did what the very first movie's ending was best known for - continuing to make you (as the audience) think about what you just watched even after you've left the theatre.
In my opinion, those are the best movies worth watching because I feel like it's something that has great value for content which stretches after the 2 hours and 10 minutes. If you think about it, that's hard to do considering that everyone these days have short attention spans and tend to be ignorant about the big issues like war. Such people will probably miss/forget/ignore this theme granted that it is a fictional story in a fictional universe. However, for people like me I can fully appreciate what Reeves has portrayed regardless of whether or not it can ever be applied in the real world.
- The beginning of the movie is a bit slow and also has other moments like this every now and again, but this is effective because the characters get to develop.
- There are some really good twists and turns that add substance to what is an obvious Cuban Missile Crisis situation.
- The character of Koba was two-dimensional - Even though I felt that there was not enough back-story to his character (counting the prior movie), Koba's ambitions were predictable.
- Strategy/tactics could have been more evident (like the bridge scene in the last movie) rather than showing cannon fodder.
The conclusion to the movie was close-ended which isn't great considering that the director plans on finalising the trilogy with the sequel being called 'War of the Planet of the Apes' (1:05-1:15).
That being said I enjoyed the movie a lot, not as much as the one before, but it was still great and I recommend you go watch it before the simian virus strikes!