Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

I think everybody was pleasantly surprised to see just how good Rupert Wyatt's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes film was. So there was a lot of hype for when the latest instalment in the franchise, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - now helmed by Matt Reeves - came out the other day and we were definitely not let down.

The second in the franchise reboot/prequels follows Ceaser as he attempts to set up a new society of intelligent primates, in a world where most of the human population has been wiped out by the Simyian Flu that was unleashed in the previous film. Dilemmas arrive for the colony when surviving humans arrive near their home, tensions start to boil and relationships get complicated when deciding on whether to trust the humans or not. The film is a big change to the last one and is a really well thought out story that plays with themes that relate to our own society.

James Franco is out of the picture in this film and a new cast is brought in to the world made of Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russel and Kodi Smit-Mcphee. Although the new cast are fine in their roles, their characters are not fully fleshed out and the most back story you get is their previous job profession and the fact that they have all lost someone. I especially thought Gary Oldman's character was underused in the film. Thankfully the show is stolen by the incredible motion capture performances of Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Karin Konoval and others who bring the apes to life. The technology used in this film is truly amazing to behold and there was rarely a moment I didn't believe I was watching actual real apes perform. Andy Serkis and the other actors involved really need to be recognised for how good their performances are and the CG company WETA who make it all possible!

The films best moments are the smaller more powerful family scenes and although the action scenes are done well, they do not hold up the movie as well as the quieter moments do. The spectacle is great but it does what a lot of other summer blockbuster movies fail to do and that is to make you really care for the characters involved in the turmoil, most of all the apes. Human or ape, both sides have good and bad characters in them and neither has a fully fledged villain, but more like misguided characters who believe they are making the best decisions for their species.  But as I said earlier, this is a lot better done with the Apes than it is with the humans.

The film looks great, with a lot of it being filmed on sets and real locations which really add to the eery realness of the motion capture performances. It's also helped long by a great soundtrack composed by Michael Giacchino that really sets the mood of the piece.

The film is very clever and I hugely enjoyed watching it. Ceaser and the apes are remarkable to watch and even though the human characters aren't as fleshed out, they do add some powerful moments to the film. I personally thought it was better than its predecessor and cannot wait to see what's in store next for the franchise. I am rating Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes a 4/5.

What did you think of the latest Apes film, love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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