War has begun – A Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

dawn of the planet of the apes

2014 has had some amazing summer blockbusters, and now here’s another one!

Dawn (of the Planet of the Apes) follows on ten years after the Rise (of the Planet of the Apes). Humanity has been mostly wiped out by a vaccine turned virus that was being tested on the apes from the first film. Caeser and the rest of the apes, after escaping the research facility, have taken refuge in the hills outside San Franciso and begun to build a home for themselves. Their existence is disturbed when a human scouting party searching for the hydroelectric plant in the hills finds out about the existence of Caeser and his tribe.


The Good

  • Amazing visuals
  • Andy Serkiss as Caeser
  • Good performances from all the actors playing key human characters (even if I felt their characters were more supporting characters to the apes)
  • The models/textures/effects used to bring the apes to life (there are moments when you look into the eyes of the apes and you wonder if their eyes are real)
  • Whoever did the work on the rest of the ape animation (Koba’s performance is pretty amazing, particularly in the scenes when him and Caeser argue)
  • Incredibly engaging world
  • Emotionally complex plot
  • Interesting and incredibly well developed characters who are a sympathetic mix of good and evil (although it’s undoubtedly the apes that steal the show)
  • Good balance between scenes of action, tension, and calm
  • Ties into the first film without alienating those who haven’t seen it
  • Deals with some complicated issues and themes without ever slapping you in the face and going “Look at this complicated issues and themes I am dealing with!”

The OK

  • Some people have complained about the human plot being the weaker element in this film, but the ape plot is so strong that I’m willing to give it a pass since the human narrative is secondary to the ape narrative
  • One human character who at times feels a bit stereotyped and too dumb to exist, but then I remind myself that there are actually people like him out there
  • Fairly predictable story, which is possible to ignore because so many of the other elements in this film are so strong
  • There seems to be one minor story issue (not a big enough one to mess up the movie, but it does bother me a tiny bit)


The Bad

  • Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.


Movie Opinion

An emotionally engaging, almost Shakespearean tale of loyalty, love, family, and betrayal, which is really only let down by its somewhat predictable story, Dawn is added to the list of awesome movies to come out in 2014. If you watched the first one, you have to see this! If you don’t have the time to see the first one, but are still keen to see this film, you won’t miss out on anything major, but later scenes in the film will definitely have less impact on you.


2 thoughts on “War has begun – A Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

  1. It’s better than the first in the way that it takes an emotional story, and continues to make it more and more exciting as it goes on. Even despite some of its cliches. Good review.


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