20 July 2014 | Theo Robertson
Much Better Than The First Film Which Isn't A Massive Endorsement
After seeing RISE on Channel 4 last night I promised myself I wasn't going to waste two hours of my life and money on a bus and cinema ticket to watch a Hollywood blockbuster sequel . Maybe the Summer heat has been frying my brain because I found myself taking a long walk to Edinburgh city centre and spending £8.20 on a ticket to watch DAWN . Perhaps I was trying to teach myself a lesson in that I should always stick to gut instinct ? When someone makes a decision they should stick to it otherwise bad things might happen
DAWN starts in exactly the same manner as RISE finished . Simian flu sweeps across the world killing billions of humans and this economy of storytelling is very effective indeed . Unfortunately when we're introduced to the surviving humans there's been a massive spanner thrown in to the works because they're all living in a small district of San Francisco . What's wrong with that you ask ? Common sense should tell you that's the worst place you can stay in after a catastrophe . As John Wyndham and John Christopher point out in their novels a city is nothing more than a concrete desert . Surely they'd be hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in the city ? Won't this lead to all types of secondary diseases ? How you going to farm crops in a city ? I suppose there might be some supplies left but after ten years of industrial collapse people still have access to cigars and cigarettes . I'm guessing simian flu only affects non smokers ?
I'm also guessing you're not supposed to think too deeply about this scenario because it doesn't really hold up to much examination . Characters are shown to having access to military hardware but the military are conspicuous by their absence . This is probably down to plot function . The human survivors need access to a hydro dam just outside the city in order to gain electricity and kick off the plot . The human enclave need electricity in order to power communications to contact other human communities but it's impossible to believe that in ten years after the flu outbreak not one single warship has berthed in the docks , or a military plane has landed at the airport or a self sufficient military unit has entered the city
Another slight problem is that the characters are like in the previous film rather one dimensional and underwritten . We've got the nice male human character , the nice female human character , the bad ethnic minority human , the good ethnic minority human etc and this is mirrored by the ape community . If you've any knowledge of Soviet history you might just second guess how things pan out in the ape community and it's the actors playing the apes in a motion capture suits who make the biggest impression . If you're going to cast Gary Oldman at least give him a part deserving of his talents and have him do something interesting with his character
It's a pity the film is let down by a succession of small flaws because I did like it but wanted to love it and the movie doesn't quite pull it off . It is a solid relatively dark blockbuster better than the film that preceded it and better than most Summer fare that's been released over the last few years but don't think it's anywhere near deserving of its position of 150 on the IMDb top movies list and feel like the HOBBIT movies will quickly drop out of the list . As it stands the original franchise was probably more enjoyable as a whole due to its imagination