Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel that we all deserve. Absolutely brilliant!

Featuring

Jason Clarke as Malcolm
Gary Oldman as Dreyfus
Keri Russell as Ellie
with Andy Serkis as Precious…er I mean Caesar
and Judy Greer as Cornelia

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is simply devastatingly awesome. Following on from the pure reboot, entitled Rise of Planet of the Apes, Caesar and his simian pals return, with a whole new host of human characters to tell us a well crafted story about the struggle to survive, coexist, and ultimately, fight for your future.

We begin the movie with the credits, where humanity has been brought to its knees in short order, billions have perished from the Simian Flu, which was created in a lab and left a survival rate of one in five hundred. Governments, infrastructure and civil order collapsed and survivors of the pandemic are spread out thinly in what were once proud cities like San Francisco. We focus initially on the apes, led by Caesar. It’s been over ten years since the fall of humanity, and the apes have lived in peace throughout that whole time, allowing them to utilise all the resources available to them without fear of harm of reprisal.

Of course, the humans themselves are not all extinct. Small enclaves survive, the closest to Caesar’s settlement lies in the dilapidated remnants of San Francisco, where the Simian Flu originated. As the settlement is now running out of fuel for electricity, Malcolm, Ellie and their little band are dispatched by the colony’s mayor, Dreyfus, to find some way to bring the hydroelectric dam back online. Unfortunately, the dam is right in the middle of the territory held by Caeser and this act of reestablishing contact ultimately leads to the events in the movie.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is excellent in making the audience not root for humans or apes. What it does do, fantastically, I might add, is make you dislike the bad guys on both sides of the conflict. Caesar grew up loved by his human family, and knows that not all humans are cruel, while many of his followers suffered through a life of torture and pain at the hands of humans, especially Koba, Caesar’s lieutenant turned rival. Then, there’s the irrational hatred shown by some humans, who are blinded by their rage over the loss of loved ones, blaming the apes (who had nothing to do with the release of the disease). Throughout all this though, it seems that only the apes are able to learn any lessons, that they have to take control of their destiny, and not wait for it to come to them. Caesar rising to the challenge, and Malcolm melting away into the darkness at the end, signals that the apes are free to choose.

The best part of the movie is the way that CGI has been employed to make the apes completely life like. Every emotion, every action is exquisitely produced, to the point where you can’t tell if one portion of the film uses a real ape or not. Even though the apes primarily communicate through sign language, it’s natural and fluid, as if they had really worked out how to talk to each other without words. It’s utterly bewitching and a joy to watch. Some parts make you wish that you too, were an ape, living a life of community and camaraderie in the forest.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a fantastic film. It doesn’t take sides, it lets you, the viewer decide who is right or wrong and who is the ultimate hero in the piece. It’s aided by some bloody brilliant use of visual effects to depict the apes as, not much different to humans when given intelligence. The sequel to this could not come fast enough.

Check out the trailer

Rating

Devastatingly awesome and emotionally involving, this is how you make a sequel.

Should I watch this

Absolutely. Enough said.

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