Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a surprising story about family, friends and trust. We also saw that when trust is betrayed, the ramifications can be far reaching for everyone involved.
The cast includes Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo and Nick Thurston.
The story takes place “10 winters” since the events in the last film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The apes have made a home in the mountains north of San Francisco and the majority of the human race has been wiped out by the symian flu. Only those who happened to be immune survived the plague.
The batch of humanity that has holed up in SF are faced with the problem of dwindling resources for their power supplies.
Neither species had seen each other for a very long time. Until a few men looking for a hydro dam encounters two apes out in the woods. And the story goes from there.
What develops from there is the focus on survival, family and the ability to judge and trust those around you… Within and between both species.
The story evolves a ton of detail in the first hour alone yet it’s done in such a way that doesn’t feel rushed but rather, you find yourself immersed in it.
You find yourself worrying more for the apes than you do the humans. Humanity as a whole is touched on in the story, what, this being the evolution of the extinction of humanity, but our focus is on a few relationships of humans forced to take action.
The relationship we see between the human Malcolm (Clarke) and Caesar (Andy Serkis) is something to behold. Its a strenuous relationship because there’s so little trust going either way but things work out as they will.
All things considered with this prequel/origins film.
No matter what side of the fence the story is focused on, it is all about the need to protect one’s family. And that focus, on the ape family, made as compelling as it was, was a pleasant surprise.
Serkis delivers a heart wrenching and dominant Caesar, while Jason Clarke delivers a great role as the human who takes a moment to understand what the apes are about.
Gary Oldman brings to screen yet another character of varying nature that yet defines why Oldman is such an incredible actor. You never see the same thing twice from this incredible actor.
Keri Russell works fine in the role of Ellie while Toby Kebbell delivers a Koda I’m not sure we’re ready for.
Nick Thurston delivers an awesome Blue Eyes, the son of Caesar.
With the apes, the motion capture can only deliver so much emotion or intent, but the facial expressions and eyes truly deliver more words than many actors with entire scripts.
Bottom line, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the turning point in the mythos, the stage between when Caesar was created by scientists, and that fateful day (if they go there) when our astronauts return to an ape controlled planet. (If you remember, the space launch was on a TV in the background of a scene in Rise.)
It’s the time when, no matter what the hopes, the reality of the inevitable sets in.
You will cheer, sneer, worry and root. But for whom is the question. It depends on the moment.
This was an incredible story and I was surprised just how much story was packed into this fantasy/sci-fi flick.
I give Dawn of the Planet of the Apes a solid popcorn 10. It’s worth it no matter what you drop on the movie ticket, though, being a rebel, I’d always suggest trying to find one of the few 2D screenings to go see.