REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a quick spoiler review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Directed by Matt Reeves.

In 2011, I quite enjoyed Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I must admit. And that was in spite of some mistakes that I had found in what I found to be a rather simple story. I liked that movie, but it pales in comparison to its 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Gone is Wyatt, Franco and Pinto – in stays the amazing Andy Serkis.

And though people might expect a huge role for Gary Oldman, I found his inclusion as a marketing ‘fraud’. His part is of importance, but in truth he does very little. Actually, that’s the main flaw with this film – the homo sapiens are under-written, some of them criminally so. With that having been said, I enjoyed the inclusion of Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, while I disliked the somewhat cliché role of Carver.

Having now mentioned parts I disliked somewhat, we can now move onto what works perfectly – masterfully – that’s right, the Apes. We expect a lot from Andy Serkis and his role as Caesar nowadays, and he delivers of course, what’s really surprising is that the remaining main apes function perfectly as well. Everyone loves Karin Konoval’s Maurice, and you are bound to be sympathetic towards Blue Eyes and Cornelia, but the real star – and a surprising one at that – is Toby Kebbell’s Koba. Kebbell  is perfect – and though he portrays a villainous Ape – you end up completely mesmerized by his performance.

The performances are strong, though some characters are under-written; the story is incredibly rich (and instantly removes any doubt you may have had regarding the Apes-reboot); the CGI/Motion Capture work is perfect, as you’d expect – and, finally, I must admit that I was really happy with the directing performance of Matt Reeves. Reeves has some great tracking-shots, as well as some that will forever stay in the memories of all Apes-fanboys. A certain scene, involving a tank, is one of the best in the entire franchise – in my humble opinion.

9 out of 10.

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