(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a rare great sequel that really shows a lot of down to Earth emotion from motion captured apes and humans, great action, and it was a thrilling, entertaining, emotional roller coaster like the movie Avatar, only with a better story, so far, the best movie this year. Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars.
My experiences with the Planet of the Apes franchise has been up and down. Unfortunately, the first Planet of the Apes movie I saw was the Tim Burton’s version which was visually stunning but horrible story and ending. I did see the first original version with actor Charlton Heston. I wish I would’ve seen that movie first, cuz I would’ve enjoyed that movie a lot more if I didn’t know what will happen, but that movie still holds probably one of the best twist endings in movies history. Then when Rise of the Planet of the Apes I was intrigued and skeptical at the same time. Intrigued to see how a planet full of apes and humans as pets happened, but skeptical in if this movie will work in a realistic way. In other words, not comical in these apes taking control over humans. Not only that the movie worked, but the emotional impact in this movie was really good. I hated that the movie ended in a cliff hanger, but I was excited for the sequel. This sequel did not disappoint, and could be the best sequel since The Dark Knight. I will start with what I like, to the so so.
What I liked, the movie Avatar was a rare great movie that hit me emotionally. That movie made me really hate my own human kind, and was pulling for the Navi tribe. I thought Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will do me the same judging from the trailers. Not only did it hit me emotionally, but the better writing made me not only really care for the Apes but the Humans as well. Before this movie came out, there was a series of short movies to show what happened between the 10 years from Rise to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Showing how an outbreak disease, believed to be started by the genetically altered Apes that escaped from the test facility to the forest, that wiped 75% of the human population on Earth. In the beginning of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes you see what these Apes were up to. They had Caesar, voiced by Andy Serkis, as their respected leader of the Ape community who pretty much are doing good surviving on their own. The movie does a great job in developing the characters of the Ape community and showing why they are a great community between Apes. Just when the Apes thought that there are no more humans, they have encountered some humans who are the few that are immune to the disease. This is where they show the tension between Humans vs Apes. The movie does a good job of developing the characters of the surviving humans as well. The acting was great, but most notably the motion captured acting by the apes. I know it is not easy having to walk and act like an ape, and the movie does a great job of capturing the emotions for a motion captured ape. So real that it actually makes you relate to these apes. Serkis as Caesar is a beauty to watch, and seeing the relationships with his son Blue Eyes, voiced by Nick Thurston, and with his second in command Koba, voiced by Toby Kebbell. As for the humans you can relate to them as well, as they are surviving and dealing with lost and new beginnings. Gary Oldman played the character of Dreyfus who is the leader of the human survivors. It shows how tough of a task it is to keep the survivors calm. Jason Clarke played the character of Malcolm who is an engineer of some sorts that was tasked to find the dam that would give power to the city where the survivors lived. Malcolm, is starting over with a new wife played by Keri Russell who is also a doctor, and his son from his deceased wife played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. They show how strong their bond is working together. Malcolm took on the brave task of talking with the Apes in hope of preventing an unwanted war between Apes and Humans. The Humans just wanted to get the dam working which happens to be in the Apes territory. Malcolm did manage to reach to Caesar who still had love for the humans, and agreed for the humans to stay to fix the dam. Much to the chagrin of Koba who still hates humans for torturing him as a science experiment, and his son who believes Humans are evil as well. During the time the family developed a special bond with the Apes, but Koba goes on to show why they can’t be trusted. I don’t blame Koba for believing this way after what he been through, but he pretty much did start the war against Humans by trying to assassinate Caesar and burning their home just to blame it on the humans and a reason to go to war. The war scene had some great action. Once Caesar survived the assassination attempt by Koba it set up a final fight between Caesar and Koba which was pretty epic. During that fight Dreyfus was setting up a bomb to wipe out most of the apes, much to the chagrin of Malcolm who tried to stop him, but I don’t blame Dreyfus for sacrificing himself to save the human race and detonated the bomb. It destroyed the tower, but Caesar and Koba are still alive and still fighting until Caesar gained the upper hand and making Koba hang from a cliff holding Caesar’s hand, and this great exchange of words: Koba, “Ape don’t kill Ape.” Caesar, “You are no Ape,” and he let’s him go to his death. At the end, Caesar and Malcolm meet one last time but knew that a chance for peace was not realistic, cuz it’s hard for humans to forgive. So Malcolm goes on with his family and Caesar stays as the leader preparing for another war with the military that the Humans successfully managed to call on radio once the power from the dam came on. I also liked how they interconnected with the first movie. Like my favorite moment when they took shelter in the home where Caesar was raised by a human, and Caesar reminiscing of the good times through pics and videos. Definitely a touching moment. This movie was a great drama all around. Director Matt Reeves did a great job in continuing the story in showing how the Planet of the Apes came to be.
The so so, mind you this is just a me thing. They could’ve gone with a better title. Rise and Dawn are two words that are about the same. They could’ve gone with War of the Planet of the Apes or Battle of the Planet of the Apes, I don’t know something better. However, you forget about it pretty quickly once the movie starts. This movie’s ending was better than the first one, instead of leaving you with a cliff hanger, it had more of an ending that still leaves you satisfied but wanting more, and that comes with good writing. It makes me wonder what the next sequel will consist of. Are they going with showing what will happen when the military comes, or are they going to start with the Planet of the Apes, and have a new George Taylor coming back from his space mission which the Rise of the Planet of the Apes hinted on when a rocket for that mission headed off. I don’t know, but I can’t wait to see where it goes. I hate waiting to see what happens, but that is the business of the movies.
Overall, this is the best movie of 2014 so far, and the best Planet of the Apes film. If you haven’t seen the prequel videos, I strongly suggest to check it out, cuz it will give a better understanding of what happened in those 10 years. I’m looking forward to the future of this particular franchise and see what it has to offer. Final Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars.
(Sidenote- Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones: Pretty much like the Paranormal Activity movies only with Latinos. I normally don’t watch scary movies, but these types of movie at the beginning gave me an interest, but as usual and the same with this movie is that it is pretty much the same thing. Sudden noises, moving things, demon possessions, and camera shakings. With this movie, a Latino cast was a breathe of fresh air. The cast was funny and down to Earth. However, who in the right mind films their lives everyday, especially when a demon possessed guy is chasing them. When the you have a power where you can push a person 30 ft away, there is a problem and normal people will go to a hospital at least. This Paranormal Activity franchise started off good, now it’s just the same old stupidness. Final Rating 2.5 out of 5.)