Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) - Theatrical Release Aug 3, 2014 17:19:51 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Aug 3, 2014 17:19:51 GMT -5
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprisingly good franchise reboot. It was a well written movie that had both some legitimately good drama as well as some good action scenes.
And the apes looked like real apes. The special effects were fantastic.
Fast forward a couple years and we've got Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and even better written, better directed movie with even better special effects. James Franco chose not to take part in this one (the studio wanted him, but the two sides couldn't agree on a couple issues, including money), but that doesn't hurt the movie in the least. In fact, in some ways it makes it stronger, dramatically.
Dawn takes place roughly a decade after the events in the first movie. The virus created to cure Alzheimers has mutated into something that has wiped out 90% of humanity. The survivors live in what amounts to a post apocalyptic world. They have technology (the old devices still function), but their problem is power. They are running out of fuel to keep their generators running, so they need to turn to renewable energy - in this case a dam that creates hydro-electric power. Unfortunately, the humans heading to the dam run across some apes, and one of the humans is both distrustful of the apes and more than a little trigger happy. The result is a dead ape and the brink of war between the humans and the apes led by Caesar in their wooded home just north of San Francisco.
The dramatic tension between the humans who legitimately have no hostility towards the apes, and the apes themselves is both well written and well acted. Some of the apes are still bitter over their treatment as laboratory animals used for experiments. Some of the humans believe the apes to somehow be responsible for the virus that has killed most of humanity. Working together to allow the humans to repair the hydro-electric system in the dam is tenuous at best.
Ultimately, there is conflict, and the battle scenes are stunning. The motivation of individual apes shows the lengths to which the writers went to make sure that those characters were legitimate characters worthy of as much screen time as the human characters. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a remarkable summer movie in that it is actually very intelligent and very thoughtfully written. Add to that mix a fantastic job of directing the movie from Matt Reeves. It cannot be stressed highly enough how well thought out and well directed this movie was. It is an action/adventure movie, but it is also very legitimately a drama, with conflict and character development among the ape characters just as much as there is among the human characters.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a thoughtful, exciting movie that is well worth seeing in a theater (there is a lot to look at, and it looks great on the big screen). Highly recommended