Film Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Director Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a wonderful accomplishment in terms of effects, narrative and action sequences, and a thoroughly entertaining blockbuster.
Ten years after the initial outbreak of simian flu, Caesar leads a growing band of genetically evolved apes. When a group of human survivors stumbles across the apes, the threat to both groups is clear…
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is positioned in rather a curious position in being a sequel to a prequel. Viewers are aware of what is inevitable, so the film focuses on the journey towards this point. Given the outcome revealed in the previous Planet of the Apes movies, it would be understandable if this new film lacked engagement. Thankfully, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes eschews any pitfalls of its positioning.
Set ten years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Matt Reeves’ movie is a most worthy successor. The film works so well because it focus on a microcosm of activity, which has universal impact. The intricacies and issues of the relationship between humans and the evolved apes are explored in a detail which is compelling, yet allows Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to fulfill its blockbuster expectations.
The narrative explore the fragile relationship, focusing on Caesar from the first film and Malcolm, a new human protagonist. Through their attempts to understand each other, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes explores the best and worst of the human condition, drawing overt parallels between humans and the evolved animals. This is effective, as the character of Caesar is developed from the previous film, giving the audience a protagonist to root for.
There is a brooding inevitability about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which takes the film to a place of covert horror. Despite knowing how the story will progress, the narrative is nevertheless engaging. Action sequences are finely executed, providing puff to the story’s pensiveness. The special effects in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are a marvel. Even though viewers will know the apes are not real, the visual effects certainly fool the human eye.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a great sequel and a wonderful example of a blockbuster that provides spectacle as an addition to a thought-provoking story.