Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell
Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield)
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language
A decade has passed since the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and now Caesar (Serkis) and his very large group of apes have a well-organized community on the outskirts of San Francisco. The plague from the first film has almost decimated the human population, but a small group of human survivors living in San Francisco are attempting to make a comeback but need access to the damn near the apes’ village to restore power They must choose to either negotiate with the apes or fight their way to it.
This is one heck of a great summer film. The last film opened our eyes as to what truly brilliant people could do with one of the cheesiest franchises in film history. It’s almost unfathomable that a well-written, well-acted and relevant film could come of such source material. But I for one am sure glad that the folks at 20th Century Fox took a chance.
The biggest difference between these two latest genesis films is that while the humans really added to the enjoyment of the first film, I could have pretty much done without them in this one. Clarke, Oldman and Russell are all fine actors, but their characters here are paper thin and almost unnecessary. The apes are what you are here to see, and they won’t let you down. Here, the special effects have been taken up a huge notch and the story is once again amazing. Now if only Hollywood could have filled our summer with this caliber of filmmaking, they might not be having such a terrible year at the box office. A-