Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodit Smit-McPhee, Toby Kebbell, Nick Thurston, Judy Greer, Kirk Acevedo, Doc Shaw
Directed by Matt Reeves
Run Time: 131 min
Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Release Date: July 11, 2014
My Score: 8.5 out of 10
Ten years after the outbreak of the ALZ-113 virus, the human race is nearly extinct. Those who survive are alive because they were genetically immune to the virus and live in closed off colonies in fear of becoming effected. The apes led by Caesar (Serkis) have setup a home in the Muir Woods outside of San Francisco and believe that the humans are all dead. But when a group of humans led by Malcolm (Clarke) discover the apes in the forest, both discover that they are not alone in the world. While Caesar and Malcolm begin to understand each other, forces within both the human and ape colonies grow uneasy at the new formed alliance and results in a conflict between human and ape that forces Caesar and Malcolm to fully trust each other if they hope to survive.
Wow!! I never thought a Planet of the Apes film could be this good, but Matt Reeves has outdone himself by crafting an incredibly smart summer blockbuster that relies less on the special effect spectacle and emphasizes a strong plot and an amazing performance by Andy Serkis.
First off, the apes special effect are absolutely extraordinary. They seem real, which is exactly what you need for the movie to work. If the apes looked fake and completely computer generated, it would be impossible to take the movie seriously. But its Andy Serkis’s performance as Caesar that steals the entire movie. Typically, an actor that speaks little in a movie doesn’t make a huge impact on you while your watching it. The exact opposite is true with Serkis. His small lines are delivered with such power, and it literally gives you goosebumps when he speaks. Its just brilliant.
The plot to the movie is easy enough to follow, not complex but it poses deep questions about humanity and life. But Reeve’s direction allows the story to be thrilling and even at moments that are natural for an action film to have you pinned to the back of your seat with fear. And the action sequences feel completely natural to the story, there is nothing over the top about them and they tell the story versus having a story centered around the action. It’s easy to say that I’m excited to see where the franchise goes next, as this Apes film proves that these film makers know how to make an incredibly satisfying film.
A smart and gripping summer blockbuster that features amazing special effects and a brilliant performance yet again from Andy Serkis as Caesar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a film that is not to be missed this summer.