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Saturday, July 12, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES







































This follow-up to Rise of the Planet of the Apes concerns the next step in the genetically advanced primates' takeover of the world as a virus begins to wipe out the human race. Let Me In's Matt Reeves handles directing duties, with Gary Oldman, Jason Clark, and Kodi Smit-McPhee headlining the human cast. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

Director: Matt Reeves 

Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell

Release Date: Jul 11, 2014

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy 

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language

Review:

Rise of The Planet of the Apes is one of those rare reboots that actually worked.  Against all odds, and a failed Tim Burton attempt, it set up a prequel franchise properly so the sequel had a lot to live up to.  Dawn of The Planet of the Apes succeeds on various fronts with Andy Serkis, Hollywood’s most underappreciated actor, front and center this go around.  The apes are fully realized creations with definitive personas and motivations.  The script delivers some wonderfully fleshed out characters from the opening sequences with a big chunk of the characterization done without spoken dialogue, its true testament to the work done by the motion capture actors.  In an odd reversal, the human characters get the short end of the stick.  Most of them, even the criminally underused Gary Oldman, are just types there to serve the script.  Jason Clake is appropriately stoic and noble throughout but never given anything meaningful to do.  Oldman is asked to be paranoid and scream Jim Gordon style which he does well but I just wish there was more to the character.  Thankfully the ape characters are interesting enough to keep the film thoroughly engaging even if the actual plot is a run of the mill coup d'état.  Even with it’s faults Dawn of The Planet of the Apes is one of the better summer films of the season with more heart than most other films out.

B




12 comments:

  1. interesting. it does seem that they've taken the franchise now so that the humans are the least interesting characters--same as the last films. but it's nice to hear that they've developed and, to some extent, humanized the apes. i definitely want to see this.

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    1. It's an interesting reversal with the series and it's not a bad thing either, an excellent sequel worth checking out!

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  2. Great review. I cannot wait to see this! I'll be going Wednesday. I really liked the last installment, and the reviews of this one have got me really excited.

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    1. Even better than the last one Drew! Thanks for reading!

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  3. Good review Dan. Enjoyed this movie quite a lot, but also liked the fact that there was some real heart and emotion to be found underneath it all as well.

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    1. That's what I liked most about the movie, there was some real depth and heart behind everything.

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  4. While I have yet to see Dawn of The Planet of the Apes, I have a feeling that it is being a little overrated by some critics with some calling it the "Best Movie of the Summer" and a "Masterpiece." I am still excited to see it since I like the old franchise and Rise. Plus, Andy Serkis is the man!

    -James

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    1. Yeah I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, it's really good though, think you'll enjoy it.

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    2. Even though I loved "Rise", my expectations for "Dawn" were pretty low. Well, now that I've finally seen it, it turned out to be way, way better than I expected. IMO best Apes flick since the original. Yes, I'm aware that this is debatable ;)

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    3. It's that good, glad to see you really enjoyed it! Really well done film.

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  5. Finally got to watch and review the film, and I have the same problems with the film that you had. It is the same Dance with Wolves type story that we have seen in movies like Avatar, but at least it was better than Avatar. Also, the humans were just there for the sake of the plot, like you said. Otherwise, this was a very good movie. I enjoyed it.

    -James

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    1. Think we are in total agreement James!

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