Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

2014

Action / Adventure / Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller

1096
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 377952

Synopsis


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November 11, 2014 at 08:57 PM

Director

Cast

James Franco as Will Rodman
Judy Greer as Cornelia
Andy Serkis as Caesar
Jason Clarke as Malcolm
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
874.82 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 10 min
P/S 15 / 104
1.95 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 10 min
P/S 19 / 207

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mistercsays1 6 / 10

Great Effects, but Lacks Substance

As an avowed fan of the original Planet of the Apes films and the 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it was with some anticipation that I awaited this latest instalment in the prequel series. Maybe I had my expectations too high, or maybe the film is just missing that something special, but I left the cinema feeling a little underwhelmed. Of course, the motion capture effects are amazing, the post-apocalyptic atmosphere is suitably bleak (power supplies have almost been exhausted and the human populace is in panic mode) and there is action aplenty, which might very well be the problem. You see, as strange as it may seem given that the majority of characters are apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is very typical in both its characterisations and narrative structure.

Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes picks up the story 10 years after the events of the previous film with the vast majority of the earth's population having been wiped out; either by the ALZ-113 virus or the violence that broke out as panic set in. A group of survivors have etched out an existence amongst the remnants of what was once San Francisco, but fuel supplies have been exhausted and an alternate power source must be found. Meanwhile, in the forests north of the city, the burgeoning ape population is living peacefully under the rule of Caesar (Andy Serkis), a benevolent dictator of sorts. When a group of humans led by Malcolm (Australia's Jason Clarke) head into the forest in an effort to repair a dam that could potentially generate power for the city, conflict ensues. Despite the best efforts of Caesar and Malcolm to hash out a peaceful co-existence between the two groups, ignorance and distrust abounds and the tensions escalate. There are the requisite bad guys on each side – Gary Oldman's Dreyfus for the humans and the scarred Koba (Toby Kebbell) for the apes – whose actions ultimately result in war between the two groups.

The attitudes and actions of key characters are a reflection of what has been happening around the world for as long as we can remember. Koba's experiences in captivity have left him with a bitter hatred of all humans, an attitude that reflects ways in which certain groups today (such as the Islamic community) are marginalised because of the actions of a few. Dreyfus, on the other hand is of the arrogant belief that they are "just apes" and thereby don't pose a serious threat. Again, how many times in history have we seen such situations where one group has such an overwhelming sense of superiority over another that they feel utterly justified in their desire to use force in an effort to secure what they want. Of course Caesar and Malcolm, who have developed a mutual respect and know that such conflict is completely unnecessary, are caught in the middle as war breaks out. The parallels to conflicts such as those in the Middle East are obvious and it is this distinct lack of subtlety that prevents the film from soaring as an engaging narrative. Reeves was obviously conscious of the need to appease an action-obsessed audience desperate for a fix of mayhem and chaos and such a focus prevents the film from offering any genuine insight into what is an utterly intriguing premise.

There is still much to appreciate in what has been achieved on a technical and aesthetic level. The motion capture work is brilliant and, even if there are a few moments where some of the apes don't look quite real, the creation of the forest world and the apes who inhabit it is remarkable; certainly a far cry from Roddy McDowall in costume in the first Planet of the Apes in 1968. As Caesar, Andy Serkis is fabulous and it is great to see that he is duly credited as the star of the film. The casting of Clarke as Norman is a good choice because he doesn't bring any pre-conceived audience expectations or the baggage of previous roles that might burden a higher profile actor. Whilst Clarke is quietly effective as Norman, fellow Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee has little to do as his son Alexander, while Keri Russell's Ellie is the convenient love interest with requisite medical training. Perhaps the biggest disappointment amongst the cast is seeing a talented actor like Oldman confined yet again to a one-dimensional role as a bombastic, narrow-minded douchebag. Whilst there are elements that impress, Dawn of the Planet of Apes possesses neither the intelligence nor the heart of its predecessor.

Reviewed by david-sarkies 8 / 10

The philosophy of why we go to war

While this film was a little slow it delves into the heart of an issue that has plagued us for centuries: why do we fight each other and why do we go out of our way to kill each other. While this film involves the beginning of a war between humans and apes, this war could represent any war between two clans or factions, with the difference being ideological, cultural, or even as pathetic as the colour of one's skin. It is clear that the hostilities that arise come down to differences that are pretty much only skin deep, and that is that one side are apes and the other side is human.

As I watched this film though it made me think about the wars that are brewing, or raging, around the globe, and how many of these wars begin through misunderstandings and outright lies. Among the apes we are being told that humans are barbaric and dangerous, and that they cannot be trusted. Among the humans we are told that the apes are responsible for the virus that devastated humanity. Then there is the manipulation of facts and the propaganda that begins the war, as well as the struggle within the factions, between those who see war as being pointless, as well as those who believe that it is necessary, because those who do not go to war are weak and will end up being overthrown.

There is also the misunderstandings and the distrust between the two sides, for while they are told to discard their weapons, there is one that always has to ignore the request due to the fear that by discarding their weapons they open themselves up to being attacked and being defenceless. Of course there are those who are always looking for a peaceful solution, trying to work together, however the peaceful ones are always being undermined by the war mongers, who for some reason seem to have the loudest voices.

Sometimes I wonder whether Hollywood actually supports the warmongers in power, or whether they are closer to the left as the right claim they are. For me it is the Hollywood dichotomy in that they have aspects of both the left and the right within their culture. Obviously there is the lose morals of many of the characters, and of course the idea that seeking revenge for being wronged is actually okay (which seems to form the basis of many an action movie). In this film it is the question of war, and the fact that when it comes to war, those who cry for war, and those who manipulate the truth to fuel the passions of the masses, are those that then to come out on top, and those who advocate for peace are seen as weak, and in some cases, unpatriotic.

Reviewed by realfandangoforever 7 / 10

Spooky if You're Eleven

160310: How come apes always appear so unhappy? It seems apes and humans have many similar traits though it appears the apes are trying harder. This is an ok film, that's about it. A bit slow in it's pace; found my attention drifting off at times. My eleven year old was spooked by it. That's all.

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