Review: Dawn of the Planet Apes

Starring Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis

 

Can’t we all just get along? At least that’s what this movie should have been titled…

Ten years after the first film left off, humanity is on the brink of extinction, wiped out by a simian virus thought to have originated with the outbreak of apes from San Francisco zoos and laboratories.

The story begins with a utopian society of apes, living deep in secluded forest. Caesar, (Andy Serkis) has used genetically advanced knowledge to build a perfect home for his family; and by family I mean hundreds of apes, varying in species.

What makes this society differ from humanity lies in Caesar’s simple message: people kill each other; apes do not.

Caesar rules with an iron fist, but is fair, and loving. It’s too bad not all the apes share these same attributes; cue evil villain, Koba (Toby Kebbell) who steals the show in more ways than one.

Seriously, the computer-generated imagery is superb! You forget these apes aren’t real, becoming emotionally engaged with the characters. Half way through, it becomes apparent the entire story is actually about the apes, not humanity! Humans certainly play a role, but they are more of a device to create tension; to form cracks in Caesar’s simian utopia. The power struggles, and moral dilemmas make it easy to see between shades of right and wrong, pointing out the flaws of a minority group infecting the greater majority.

It’s blatantly obvious what the message of this film is, and while the story reeks of moral persuasion, it’s still a lot of fun. If you enjoyed the first installment in, The Planet of the Apes franchise, don’t be afraid to see the second. It won’t disappoint.

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