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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review
If you’re an old-school, die-hard Planet of the Apes fan, you may look at a new series with some trepidation. Will it be as good as the original series? What will the action be like? Will I identify with any of the characters? Who will I be rooting for by the end of the movie? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to the Planet of the Apes (2011), but most certainly not to be confused with the series from 1968 to 1973.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place around ten years or so (in fast-forward film years) after the last Planet of the Apes movie. It starts innocently enough, Caesar and his family of apes have built a home in the forest. Most of the humans have been wiped out by a simian virus that has killed most of mankind. The remaining humans are in a safe zone, but badly in need of electricity in order to survive and continue their search for help via radio transmission.
Malcolm and a band of humans venture into Caesar’s world (the forest) in order to fix a dam that would provide much needed energy. The growing relationship between Caesar and Malcolm is definitely the focal point of the entire movie. If you dig deep enough in your analytical mind, you may discover that the movie centers on the two groups, humans and apes, building trust amongst themselves and the opposing forces. Life can certainly be difficult when you’re battling good and evil, both internally and externally.
I found this particular version to be an eclectic mix of many storylines. From the virus that wiped out the pets in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, to the dynamic battle scenes in Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the mixing of the various storylines tended to muddy the story a bit. Each story from the previous series, however, is definitely recognizable in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Those who do not read quickly or know sign language may struggle a bit as much of the communication between the apes throughout most of the movie was sign language and sub-titles. I actually found it quite funny when the returning humans referred to the “talking apes” when the only word Caesar uttered was, “Go!” While some movie-goers may have preferred the limited amount of speaking by the apes, I found that I would have much preferred a bit more talking so I could have paid more attention to the action on the screen. I do know, however, that there are some movie-goers who would appreciate the sub-titles.
There were a few other unusual aspects of the film. The ape clothing, or lack thereof, was a bit unsettling, but I guess the directors thought the natural look was the way to go. I would agree with one of the humans who stated, “You are one scary…” Some of the scenes were so dark it was difficult to see what was happening. It could be my older vision, but it’s hard to imagine watching this on a smaller screen.
Despite the oddities in the movie, I truly enjoyed the action, especially in the final scenes. Will there be a sequel? I’m not sure, after having rolled up all the other movies into one, what is there left to tell? Knowing Hollywood, however, the battle between humans and apes will always continue as long as there is an audience.
I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.
I purchased the movie ticket with my own funds and received no compensation for writing this review.
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