Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman
Director: Matt Reeves
Running Time: 130 mins
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is an American film and the sequel to Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. After ten years where the ALZ-113 virus has infected the globe, only a handful of humans remain, and they become engaged in a war against the apes to defend their world.
As with all sequels, this is meant to be darker than the first film, but I don’t think that it is. Of course, it looks a hell of a lot darker, and some of the plot lines are a lot heavier, but the only thing that it falls down on is that it doesn’t manage to create that very real sense of apocalypse like the first film. However, there’s still no doubt that it’s exciting and tense, the characters are even more intriguing, and it manages to pull off a much slower-paced story that at times was in real danger of being boring.
The thing with the story in this film is that there’s basically no action for the first hour and a half. Now, I didn’t mind that at all, because it managed to create this intriguing and tense atmosphere in which humans and apes attempt to negotiate upon their first meeting in years. I feared at points, however, that this negotiation part of the story was really going to to take away from the excitement and become boring in the style of the very politics-heavy Phantom Menace, however it succeeds and makes those negotiations brilliantly exciting too.
Also, you get a great insight even deeper into the now dawning planet of the apes, and not only Caesar this time, but a host of supporting ape characters that really make their side a genuinely fascinating one, in fact much more so than the humans, who are at times a little plain and predictable. What’s more is that you see the birth of the workings of the apes’ colony, the emergence of internal political rivalries and their development into attempting to create relations with the humans, which all helps to create this very realistic vision of the planet of the apes.
The cinematography and visuals in this film are also fantastic. Overall, this has a much darker and grittier look to it (even if I didn’t think that the story was that much darker), and that adds highly to making it a much more tense and involving drama, as well as just an exciting blockbuster. And of course, there’s some more amazing work with the motion capture suits, which really help to bring the story even more to life.
Overall, this gets a 7.9, because it had a very strong, intelligent and engrossing story, a new approach to the overall story of the franchise, as well as some great visuals that really added to the experience of this film.