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Friday, 18 July 2014

Review - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Sequels seem to be improving on the original this summer! First 22 Jump Street, then How to Train Your Dragon 2 and now The Dawn of The Planet of The Apes.
The film is directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) and stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russel and Gary Oldman.

DotPotA picks up a decade after its predecessor, the "simian flu" virus has spread across the world and has killed off a lot of the population of humans and are only a few groups left, while Caesar and his apes are living a peaceful lives in the forests. Until a group of survivors shoots an ape and tension rises between the apes and the humans just trying to survive.
The story is great and stronger than its predecessor, The focus is mostly on the apes, which is shown in the silent opening 15 minutes which is so interesting with no speaking at all. In the film, Caesar is struggling with having to decide to trust humans or not, while his second in command, Koba, doesn't trust humans because of the cruelty they have inflicted on him. The film is quite formulaic yet enjoyable but does stray off of the beaten tracks at some points which makes the film that much better.

The characters were the standout pieces of the film, the apes all have a distinct look to them, like scars or different types of ape to distinguish the characters, which is very helpful in a film with at least a hundred apes!
The standout apes in the film though is of course Caesar and also Koba, Andy Serkis plays Caesar via performance capture, the impressive thing about it is that you can see Serkis' face in Caesar's and it really feels like someone acting instead of just a computerized image. Koba is Caesar second in command and is played by Toby Kebbell who capture the craziness of Koba in his eyes and facial performance, Koba is a great character and steals most of the scenes in the film and plays a great antagonist.
On the human side, the stand out characters are, Malcolm, the main human protagonist played by Jason Clarke, he is the leader of a group of survivors who befriend Caesar and his apes, he is quite a simple character, but it is nice to have a positive character in such a run downed world, the other stand out is Dreyfus played by Gary Oldman, he is also the leader of the same group of survivors as Malcolm, he is a lot more negative than Malcolm and is also a lot more hot headed, yet he is a complex character that i couldn't read until the film was over.

The camera shots in the film were fantastic, from extreme close up of Caesar's eyes to the standout scene, Koba is in a  tank which the camera is on, and it pans around a battle, this was the best shot in the film and was at awe when watching.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a great summer film, unlike the others, it doesn't follow the generic summer narrative and there are plenty of great and surprising moments throughout the film.

4/5

What were your thoughts on the film? Comment and let me know.

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