Caesar and his simian gang bring their A-Game for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
The Planet of the Apes franchise is one of the most popular and loved series amongst hard core Sci-Fi fans. The original film starring Charlton Heston was a ground-breaking film for its time and despite a rare misstep from Tim Burton, with his take on the film in the late 90s, the franchise looked to be on the right track again with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And this is why, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is considered by many as one of the most anticipated sequels of 2014.
The Story: The Simian Flu outbreak that was shown towards the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes sets the tone for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The film opens with humanity virtually wiped out after the Simian Flu leaving an ape colony led by Caesar thriving in the forests near San Francisco. However pockets of human survivors do remain in the city, and they formulate a plan to revive a small hydroelectric plant located nearby the city in order to restore power. One big problem though, the plant is located deep within the ape colony.
However, despite an initial heated encounter, a temporary truce is called between apes and humans, which causes tension on both sides of the fence. As the humans and apes form an uneasy and temporary alliance, dissension and distrust begins to grow and this soon escalates into a heated battle that determines who is the true dominant species.
What Worked: The human drama that unfolds on screen by both humans and apes, which is no mean feat considering the apes were all computer generated. Dawn also offers a seamless continuation from Rise and it sets the tone for the future continuation of the franchise.
What Didn’t: The escalation of the war, which happens considerably quick and the apes utilising automatic weapons after only having gained them for a short time.
Plus Points: The CG and special effects, Andy Serkis’ humanisation of Caesar.
Minus Points: The all-too convenient explanation that most humans have been wiped out, all told within the opening credits of the film.
Conclusion: Despite some small gripes, overall Dawn is a solid and substantial film that offers a great continuation to the Apes franchise and a back story to the classic of 1968. We’re going out on a limb here but we dare say this is one of the best films to have come out this summer.