Review #471: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.~20th Century Fox

Motion capture and visual effects have really come so far. One look at Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and you could see the stark difference in believability compared to the old installments. The apes seemed so real! Not the scary kind of real, but the ‘you don’t even notice it’s fake’ real. You can connect with them, empathize with them. And sometimes they feel and act more human than the humans themselves.

The things they couldn’t do before are now achievable today. This film proves that and it’s quite impressive. Even my mom, who usually falls asleep in the theater, could not take her eyes off the screen (sorry mom haha!). It’s a different kind of blockbuster. It’s complex – emotionally, visually, and narratively. It’s a bit predictable, but it tackles societal issues in a captivating manner and director Matt Reeves does a great job in pacing the film up to the end. These feats are enough to help overlook its banal tendencies. And I think everyone can agree Andy Serkis’ is one hell of a performer. He is the star of the show and he deserves more credit. Hail Caesar!

GRADE: B+

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