Why Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is Awesome

Apes, together, AWESOME.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – sequel to the reboot (in itself a kind of prequel) Rise of the Planet of the Apes – is one of this years biggest and most anticipated films, and since its release this past weekend has garnered critical and commercial success. Do I agree with all the praise being lauded on the film?

Pretty much, yes.

From a literary point of view, the film is very, very good, hitting every note it goes for and shaping an interesting world full of intriguing characters. It might just be in thinking that it doesn't push the boundaries that much in terms of story-telling, but I absolutely think that they practically perfected the story they were going for, and that's something to be proud of.

Serkis brings Caeser to life once again, this time opposite Jason Clarke's Malcolm

The film is set years after the events of the first film, where the Alzheimer's cure created by James Franco character morphs into something dubbed the “Simian Flu”, and almost all of humanity are wiped off the face of the Earth. Caeser and his intelligent apes have made a home (literally) for themselves in the forests they departed to at the end of the first film, and their fledgling society is a place of peace and (relative) prosperity.

That is, until humans show up again.

A small group of humans – genetically immune to the Simian Flu – have been living in their own post-apocalyptic society down in the nearby city. Lead by Jason Clarke's pacifist, Malcolm, and Gary Oldman's distinctly less pacifistic Dreyfuss, they are about to run out of fuel and are desperately seeking a way to keep the power running. Fortunately for them, there's a nearby hydro-electric dam that they could get running again that would provide unlimited power. Unfortunately for them, it's in the middle of the apes territory.

You don't mess with Apes riding horses

Andy Serkis' brilliant Caeser is edgy about the humans, but is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and work on the dam. Malcolm grows close to him, but Caeser's right-hand ape – Toby Kebbel's show-stealing Koba – is filled with nothing but hate for humans, who held him captive and experimented on and tortured him.

Cue expected face off and the collapse of negotiations into all out warfare in truly spectacular style.

Every single actor is pitch perfect and I cannot find fault in any performance. The standout performances are undoubtedly from Serkis and Kebbel, the two ape leaders, who bring a humanity and life to their two characters that even manages to outshine the ever-brilliant Gary Oldman.

Toby Kebbel is a show-stealer as the human-hating Koba

Where this film is really mind-blowing, however, is in the technical side; this is motion capture at its absolute finest, demonstrating just why it is a legitimate and ground breaking performance tool. The apes look 100% real, with seamless CGI on top of fantastic performances. I cannot stress this enough: if you only go to watch this film for the aesthetics, you will not be disappointed.

Final Score: 9/10

This has been Blacksmith, writing for The Awesome Update

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