Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) Poster

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

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7.6/10
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  • Matt Reeves and Andy Serkis in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
  • Karin Konoval and Terry Notary in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
  • Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
  • Matt Reeves and Andy Serkis in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
  • Jason Clarke at an event for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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20 July 2014 | TheLittleSongbird
8
| A blockbuster that takes a bigger approach and with brains and heart
As someone who really enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, expectations were high for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And apart from a rushed ending and the underdeveloped human characters Dawn of the Planet of the Apes didn't disappoint and is just as good. It looks amazing for starters, the cinematography and lighting are of great beauty and atmosphere and the scenery is equally striking. But the visual highlight, and most likely the best thing about the film, are the special effects for the apes, that they look so real and that it's hard to believe they were done by computer is testament to how good they look. The soundtrack is haunting and rousing with no dirge-like tempos and it doesn't feel overbearing either, even with sound with as much authenticity as here. The script also impresses, it's very intelligently done and has a lot of tension and heart. What impressed even more was how simple and nuanced some of it was, like when the apes speak they only need to say a few words and it still feels like it's saying a lot, a couple of times even a sideways glance brings more impact than you'd think. The story takes a bigger and somewhat bolder approach than Rise of the Planet of the Apes and this is an instance of it working very well, especially with the visceral action sequences which are very tense and look terrific and in the incredibly intense and emotional final act. It's compelling stuff where you feel compassion for and identify with every step of the way with Caesar and his family. Matt Reeves' direction doesn't make the mistake of being overblown or lethargic, there is at least a sense that he knows what he's doing. The acting is solid, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell are charming leads and Gary Oldman while criminally underused still gives a spirited performances. But other than the special effects the other highlight is the characterisation of the apes, which is just superb especially for Caesar(who is by far and way the most relatable and most compelling character in the entire film), Andy Serkis never fails to amaze me. All in all a really well done blockbuster, although the human characters do not register anywhere near as well as the special effects and the apes characterisations. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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