Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Matt Reeves (2014)

125min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In this sequel to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has clearly decided that to tell the next chapter in the story, he's going to need to go bigger. A lot bigger. Most of the human population has been wiped out by simian flu, while superintelligent chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis) is now the leader of a large ape colony and is teaching his companions to live in peace: "Ape Not Kill Ape" is the first rule. But then the pesky humans turn up to spoil things. Caesar is torn between his desire to protect his ape family, and compassion towards the beleaguered humans. But human-hating right-hand-ape Koba (Toby Kebbell) determines to show him the error of mixing with mankind. What follows is an epic, Shakespearean tale of betrayal, deception and brutality that plays out like a Greek tragedy - with a touch of Animal Farm thrown in. The script is superb and the ape characterisation is incredible - the acting of Serkis et al, coupled with the magic of the visual effects, means there's no sense that what you're seeing is constructed on a computer. The apes seem 100% real. And when they speak, the dialogue is a shining example of how to say a lot with just a few well chosen words. However, the human characters are underdeveloped. Gary Oldman, as the trigger-happy human leader, is woefully underused, while Jason Clarke and Keri Russell radiate niceness - and not much else. While the visceral impact of the film's formidable action scenes is undeniable, there's also as much dramatic tension in a sideways glance between two apes. This is a storming, soulful blockbuster that's got both brains and heart.

Summary

A colony of super-intelligent apes thrives following a global virus outbreak that wipes out much of the human race. A survivor tries to make peace with the leader of the apes, but their efforts to reach an understanding are threatened by warmongers on both sides. Sci-fi thriller sequel, starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman.

Cast & Crew

Caesar Andy Serkis
Malcolm Jason Clarke
Dreyfus Gary Oldman
Ellie Keri Russell
Koba Toby Kebbell
Alexander Kodi Smit-McPhee
Carver Kirk Acevedo
Blue Eyes Nick Thurston
Director Matt Reeves
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 18 Jul 2014
Drama