Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) Review
Just saw Apes last night and yes I know it’s late but wow was this film worth the wait. Never thought Apes of horses would be my favourite film of the year but that’s where we are, got to love the movies! The acting is solid, the script plays with the plot brilliantly, you like and route for the characters both ape and human, the action is fast paced and visuals are unbelievable, those apes are 100% CGI. What really sets this film apart from the majority of films is the unrelentingly serious nature they apply to the material. The story explores so many aspects to human nature that its just fascinating to think about. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
“Apes! Together, strong!”
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended – First 100% of the Year!
Story: 100% Acting: 100% Characters: 100% Dialogue: 100%
Sci-Fi/Action: 100% Style/Sound: 100% Visuals: 100%
The story could have easily fallen apart after the very realistic theme of the first film; I mean the apes go to the forest and then what? Realism becomes a really tricky business. But when a science fiction film gets it right they can make great films and this is one of them, gritty, clever and character driven. I love how the playing field was levelled by the disease and then we have a realistic way in which the Apes could take over. The story gives us insight into both the worlds of the apes and the humans after the world was ravaged by the simian flu but very bravely seems to focus a bit more on the ape side of the story, must have been a hard pitch to the studio.
The acting is great with some excellent characters built up in the film. Caesar is an extremely well developed character and clearly the films lead, which is weird but brilliant. Andy Serkis retains his title as master of motion capture and brings real human emotion to the charismatic ape leader. On the human side we have their leaders Malcolm played by Jason Clarke and Dreyfus played by Gary Oldman, both did a great job. I also think the villain of the story if there was a true villain was Koba motion captured and voiced by Toby Kebbell, who did an excellent job of being Caesars Judas.
The science fiction of this film has some interesting parts to it, we have a world ravaged by disease, post-apocalyptic ruins of the old world, how humans cope without power and reliant of it have become. And then you have the idea of what an intelligent society of apes would do alone in the world. What I liked the most though was that the game has completely changed since the first film. And I cannot wait to see where they go next because the world is their oyster.
The visuals are really amazing, seriously look at those damn apes! 100% CGI with motion capture, makes Avatar look like a joke. I cannot imagine anything more realistic looking, their movements, facial expressions, the fur. Also can’t forget the new ravaged earth they created, always love a good dystopian future look and they pull it off really well. The action scenes and explosives fights where really great to watch and looked great.
Seriously guys turn away now to avoid spoilers. At the end Caesar reveals he is just a guy in an ape suit and all the other apes look confused, roll credits. Haha told you not to read. There is a lot to talk about here so I’ll keep it brief and talk more in the comments. Caesar doesn’t just outright attack the humans which is interesting because I never knew why he would do that, so well done writers. Koba was an excellent villain and he was so evil in some scenes, but you remember what he went through you understand where his hate comes from. Am not sure where they’ll take them now, after this we know the humans contacted a military force so will the next one simple be a big war? Am not sure it will but we’ll soon see.
The best reviews I found would be these:
“It’s amazing that this film was able to dish out a brilliant dose of thrills while still managing to pull at all the heart strings. Reeves absolutely nailed it with this one and for that, I couldn’t be happier. Hail, Caesar!” Rhino’s Horror. Full Review
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not just one of the best offerings of the Summer, but of the entire year. It succeeds because the special effects punctuates and supports the story/character instead of the other way around. The technical achievements never overshadow the story, even during the action-heavy battle scenes in the third act, it doesn’t become so bombastic that we lose sight of what’s really at stake.” Flix Chatter. Full Review
“If you want a blockbuster film that has more of a brain, this is definitely the film to go see this summer. And f*ck, I’ve been restrained this whole time: I went ape for it, I went bananas. No more monkey business, this film is ape-tastic!” Kloipy Speaks. Full Review
“However, it is Serkis who raises Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from a good film to a great one. It’s a shame that the monkeys in Hollywood can’t seem to acknowledge his talent. Great acting is great acting whether it is as a human or as an ape.” Written in Blood. Full Review
My favourite scene would have to be the fight between Caesar and Koba near the end, you just get so pumped and want to see Caesar win so bad, that was a great fight. Koba playing stupid was excellent as well, when he lulls those guards into false sense of secured and turns cold instantly to kill them. So evil and smart, brilliant.