Sequels are probably the one thing (besides shitty horror movies and comedies) that is the most common in our modern movie world. Some are good, some are bad (Cough, cough, Transformers, cough!). And today we are taking a look at the sequel to the excellent “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (Still a mouthful).
APES!…”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”.
Just so you know, this review will contain some spoilers for “Rise of the…” considering this is a sequel. So if you have not seen that movie yet I suggest you go watch that first and come back when you have done that. Okay, for the rest of you people who had the common sense to watch “Rise of the…” first…let’s go!
The story is set 10 years after the events of the previous movie. The so called “Simian Flu” eradicated most of humanity except for a few who apparently were immune. A few of these were our important (main) characters Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), Ellie (Keri Russell) and Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee). On the other side of the spectrum we have the a giant community of apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis). Not only is Caesar the leader of all apes…he is also a husband/father. But of course his leadership is threatened by not only war with the humans (if that would happen) and his servant and “friend” Koba (Toby Kebbell). The humans want to restore power to their town with the help of a nearby dam. Problem is that a giant ape “army” (using the word loosely) between them and the dam. But as Malcolm want to make peace with the apes to work in peace, Dreyfus having some problem with that and Koba having something bad in mind, shit will go down. Now that is kind of the story in a nutshell without spoilers. I am keeping it as simple as possible (which is more difficult than it seems) to not spoil anything. Because this story might have a kind of predictable idea…the execution is strangely more awesome. It is perfectly executed and always keeps you interested (at least in my case). This movie is one that some people have called “boring”…but I disagree. Those people probably expected non-stop action and did not like when there would be good amount of drama. Oh yeah…it is the “Drive” situation again. And once again I love how it turned out and don’t care that there is a good amount of drama. The drama only makes it better…kind of like “Drive” (Comparisons on two different types of movies…jeez).
The characters are portrayed very realistically. They are not as cheesy as in the 1967 original…but also not trying to be too dramatic. All characters are incredibly human (Yes, even the apes). I have never seen a movie where I have seen primates show emotions and make it seem so realistic. That is the only word to describe the characters here really…realistic (Again…yes, even the apes). Malcolm is the guy who only wants peace between humans and apes but also to help humanity survive by getting the dam running. Dreyfus does not have a problem shooting the apes and even talking about it in public. Then we have Caesar…oh my god, give Andy Serkis his fucking Oscar already. I don’t care what the academy thinks about performance capture…give Serkis his god damn Oscar already!
The score is fantastic. A lot of epic tracks are of course in there for the more action-based bits, but it also features some calmer tracks to work with the drama and slower bits. Composer Michael Giacchino did a fantastic job with the soundtrack and has my utmost respect and admiration.
The CGI in this movie is breathtaking…even more so than in the pervious movie. It is so good. I am not kidding, you can look at this movie and your jaw will drop to the floor. I wouldn’t get surprised if it got an Oscar nomination for best Visual Effects. Also, the camera work is fucking magnificent in general. Matt Reeves know how to make a great looking movie and I love that. And if I can be honest for one second, there was a scene in the movie, not saying which…that made me cry. Not like “Oh no…I am crying my eyes out”. More like “I just shed a tear”. If a movie succeeds in doing that, then it does something right.
The recpetion for “Dawn of the…” has been nothing but general praise (Unless you count the few assholes who calls it boring). Rotten Tomatoes has a 91% positive rating with a “Fresh” Certification. Metacritic has 79/100 as score. imdb.com has 8,5/10 as main score and the movie is ranked #155 on the Top 250 list.
I have given my primitive opinions on a few things that this movie has to offer. And now I am willing to hand out my final score. My score for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a 9,70/10 and a recommendation to buy it when it comes out. But wait, with that score also means, *gasp*…the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is now reviewed. I honestly think it is slightly superior to the previous one.
APES! TOGETHER! STRONG!