Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review, A Summer Blockbuster Done Right.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Starring: Andy SerkisJason ClarkeGary OldmanKeri RussellToby Kebbell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee

Back in 2011 when Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released I immediately fell in love with the direction the filmmakers where electing to take this aging franchise. It felt fresh and not a lazy remake that the Tim Burton version was. Instead of focusing on the astronaut lost in time on an alternate version of earth, it brought us back to the origins and how it all began. It, brief, goes into how the human population started to diminish and how the apes became intelligent. It was a fresh and smart way to introduce us back into the universe of Planet of the Apes. It never really relied on action but straight up story and character development. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes follows suit but certainly apps up the action compared to the first.

10 years after the outbreak of the simian flu, humans are on the brink of extinction while the apes are starting to rise to great heights of intelligence. After encountering Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his gang of apes in the forest Malcolm (Jason Clarke) begins trying to make peace with the apes while both sides believe it is a terrible idea. All Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) wants is to return power to San Francisco via the dam in the Redwoods and he’ll let nothing stand in his way. On the other side, Koba wants nothing more than to have Caesar wage war against the humans. The two sides wage war while Malcolm and Caesar want nothing more than to reconcile peace between the two factions.

It’s amazing just how well special effects have come since it’s inception. The original was considered to be the pinnacle of special effects when it was released back in 1968. Now the special effects today look so realistic that it’s hard to tell that it’s just actors in motion capture suits. I think that the way the apes look in these two movie look so much better than actors wearing ape costumes. It’s the reason Tim Burton’s was so bad. The Apes just looked like actors in makeup and not apes.

Once again Andy Serkis completely becomes the character and makes the movie completely believable. He’s isn’t the only actor portraying the apes and all of the other actors do a fantastic job. The story does a great job of setting up the universe that these characters live in. I do have to say that the story is a little used up but with it works perfectly with this storyline. It shows that even with hyper intelligent that they still act human. Rivalry exists between the apes to the point of one trying to over throw the other. It portrays apes as “humans” and shows that intelligent creatures will always face rivalry even if they aren’t human.

From a technical standpoint it is the best thing to come out this summer. The sound is impressive in creating the chimps movement and “voice”. The cinematography is gorgeous, perfectly making the world grim and destroyed. The scene with the apes attacking the humans on horseback and guns is brilliantly shot. The tank scene looked fantastic. Matt Reeves proved himself with Let Me In and even Cloverfield but this is best film to date.

If you are looking for a movie this summer I’d highly suggest seeing this movie over anything else. It is a smart and fresh blockbuster that provides action and story without compromising either.

Grade: B+

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