Humans Not Allowed
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sets itself in the aftermath of the global pandemic that was the Simian Flu which almost knocked out the whole of the human race. You might expect the film to naturally star a human cast member as the main in his/her quest for survival but Dawn focuses on an ape character instead. Caesar, the ape which lead the escape from human captivity is the main attraction of Rise whom is brilliantly played in CGI by Andy Serkis (Gollum from The Lord of the Rings)
The colony of apes lead by Caesar have been living in peace for many years in the woods north of San Francisco. The film throws us into the world of apes, showcasing their way of life and their dedication for a striving community. ‘Apes don’t kill apes’ has been a strong motto throughout this sequence enforcing that their kind are not violent to each other unlike the humans. However peace doesn’t stay around for long when a pack of humans were confronted near their settlement attempting to restore power to their colony in San Francisco.
Leading the human group is Malcolm (Jason Clarke) whom was sent to the hydro electricity dam to restore power with a few others. The first encounter however was met with accidental violence but Caesar whom is trying to avoid a conflict with the humans allowed them to work on the dam and carried on back to San Francisco. This didn’t go down well with another fellow ape, named Koba, who loathes humans and began questioning Caesar’s motives and his sympathy towards their kind.
While guns and explosions may be common in other ‘summer blockbuster’ – Dawn uses the fear of weapons to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. Tension comes from the relationship between the humans and apes. This relationship is thin and fragile, and one shot could mean war. Well the outcome was forthcoming regardless, we know the apes and humans fight but what that leads up to will surprise most viewers.
“we know the apes and humans fight but it’s what that led up to it will surprise most viewers”
The CGI was probably the biggest highlight of this movie – it was simply jawdropping. You’ll forget that 80% of the film characters were actually computer generated. It was that hyper-realistic, I sometimes forget the apes were not even real. This really helped me settle in with the film as well – if the CGI animation for the apes was pretty average and unrealistic, I would simply walk out. However this was not the case and the attention to detail was amazing.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is no ordinary summer hit. It has all the makings of an action blockbuster with it’s ferocious and gritty combat (seriously, apes with guns) – however under all that, Dawn is a real story of social fear against minorities, bringing a powerful message – no matter who you are or where you came from, we are all the same.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ticks all the boxes of an action packed blockbuster but also deals with real world issues of society’s fear against minorities. A smart and brilliantly crafted film you must watch.
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Stars: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman