A group of scientists in San Francisco struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that is wiping out humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.
|Title||:||Dawn of the Planet of the Apes|
|Release Date||:||June 26, 2014|
|Genres||:||Science Fiction, Action, Drama, Thriller|
|Production Co.||:||Ingenious Media, Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Matt Reeves, Jody Blose, Trisha Burton, Tracy L. Moody|
|Writers||:||Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle|
|Casts||:||Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell, Keri Russell, Judy Greer, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, Kirk Acevedo, Richard King, Lucky Johnson, Jocko Sims, Nick Thurston, Jon Eyez, Enrique Murciano, Larramie Doc Shaw, Lee Ross, Keir O'Donnell, Kevin Rankin, Al Vicente, Matthew James, Scott Lang, Deneen Tyler, Mustafa Harris, Lombardo Boyar, Mike Seal, J.D. Evermore, Chase Boltin, Michael Papajohn, Thomas Rosales, Jr., Carol Sutton, Christopher Berry|
|Plot Keywords||:||leader, colony, post-apocalyptic, dystopia, sequel, woods, forest, ape, scientist, monkey, medical research, animal attack, plague, 3d|
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Reviews
- Intelligent and thrilling storytelling with amazing CGI Science-Fiction of the best possible kindby 7 July 2014on
348 out of 568 people found the following review useful:
Among Hollywood's recent output of mediocre (and in some cases: downright abysmal) remakes of Sci-Fi classics, 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' was the rare movie which stood out, for it had as much of a brain as it had a heart plus an original approach to the well-known material and great visuals. Having said that, 'Rise' practically pales in comparison to Matt Reeves' sequel: the upcoming 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is as close to a Science-Fiction masterpiece as a 170 million PG-13 Hollywood summer blockbuster can possibly get.
The storyline picks up ten years after we saw Ceasar and his fellow simian escapees seek refuge in the woods near San Francisco, and although the film's trailers already gave away pretty much everything that happened during that time (and alas, way too much of what will happen), I'm not going to spoil anything for those who carefully avoided watching said trailers. As with all my reviews, instead of giving away any details about the story, I'll elaborate on all other aspects of the movie.
What needs to be mentioned first is what an astonishing achievement 'Dawn' is when it comes to the use of CGI. I'm normally very critical towards the (over-)use of CGI but the level of craftsmanship displayed here simply has to be admired. It only took me seconds to forget I was watching digital characters (brought to life through the outstanding motion-capture performances by Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell and Judy Grier to name but a few), and I can't begin to imagine what a task it must have been for the artists and wizards in the animation department to work on every background and every tiny little detail of every character until this level of seamlessness and reality could be achieved.
But nearly every other aspect of the movie has been realized equally well: Michael Giacchino's haunting musical score fits and reflects the drama on screen perfectly, while the often terrifying beauty of the images on screen had me immediately wondering who the DoP was (now I know: Michael Seresin, the genius veteran DoP of such classics as 'Midnight Express' and 'Angel Heart'). When it comes to the action; well, 'Dawn' is not your usual summer blockbuster. This is no light-hearted, comic-book-style fantasy film with fun, over-the-top action scenes. What we have here is a gritty, realistic portrayal of a slowly escalating conflict, and when we do get to the battle scenes in the third act, those scenes are a spectacular, mesmerizing visual feast (and ultimately heart breaking).
But the core of this film and also the reason why the action scenes in the third act really do have an impact and all the mayhem really gets to you is the intelligent, skilfully told story with its well-drawn, believable characters (portrayed by equally believable actors). The tragic simian/human conflict mirrors our real and very human past and present day wars and social frictions in a very credible way and thus makes this film resonate far beyond what any mere Sci-Fi premise would let you expect.
So my verdict: With its beautiful imagery, highly relevant story and breath-taking effects, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is as close to a Science-Fiction masterpiece as its mass-audience orientated constrictions allowed it to be (which in this case is very close); an astonishing achievement and highly recommended. 9 stars out of 10.
Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/
- Disappointing. One step forward in CGI, two steps backward in story tellingby 28 July 2014on
148 out of 223 people found the following review useful:
I had been really looking forward to Dawn but it was a wasted opportunity in my opinion.
I liked how in the original that you felt for Caesar and the apes and their plight was a simple one in just wanting to get to the forest. Okay an origin story always offers more meat but it had me a lot more involved than Dawn which was ultimately a leadership struggle film.
I felt this film was weaker because it descended into the rather clichéd dad trying to connect with his son, 2nd in command wants to take over, they have a big bust up at the end. If the main protagonists were humans and not superbly rendered apes, I think some more might think the story a little predictable, almost like the Lion King.
It's like how I thought the first was clever for showing the monkey strengths and ingenuity in outsmarting the humans. However in this film the monkeys wouldn't actually have been any good at aiming the guns or reloading. So although cool seeing them fire guns, the humans would still have had a tactical advantage.
I'm not saying this to be a spoil sport for the action scenes but it was lazy film making that the makers didn't then think of a clever way to use the monkey strengths to get round this tactical weakness.
Fox bundled the original director out of the way for daring to want to make something of equal calibre and switched in Reeves to create an inferior sequel that hit all of the generic blockbuster marks but had no real heart. Maybe this is proof that recreating the 'lightening in a bottle' of Rise does require a little more time and effort than simply throwing money at special effects.
For me it was one step forward in the technology and CGI but two steps back in the story telling. In Rise, the effects aided the story. In Dawn, they were the story.
- Incoherent, predictable, boring.by 19 July 2014on
324 out of 575 people found the following review useful:
I wonder why this movie has such a high rating. This tricked me into going to the theater to watch it. So, a virus kills most people on earth. At the same time the apes evolve and become intelligent. Of course this has to happen over generations and not just by the passing of time in the same individuals, but let's say it happened. And so the plot holes begin:
All the human survivors are gathered in one building in the middle of San Fransisco. What are they eating? Do they grow the earth? -No
Do they raise livestock? -No.
Are they near a spring or well to have fresh running water? -No.
Are they dressed in animal skins or primitive hand made clothes? -No, they use 10 or 15 year old clothes and look great.
So all these people together produce a lot of waste, what happens to it? -Nothing, probably use the sewers which are capable of functioning forever without any maintenance of any kind. Probably the writers imagined the survivors using the toilet and flushing and the water appearing magically from taps, showers and toilets...
What do they really need? -Power to charge the i-Pad to see the old photos. Of course they cannot go to the nearest refinery or gas depot and fill a tanker truck, but they risk their lives going to the mountains against angry intelligent apes, because the radio uses a lot of power and the nuclear plant doesn't work any more. Makes perfect sense.
And of course when they repair the dam the power magically transfers to the city, tenths of miles far, because of course poles do not fall down and cables don't cut after 10 or 15 years without maintenance just like the sewers.
The apes can all talk, and the villain ape has English accent. They prefer to use sign language though because a language which is useless in the dark or even just when the other person is not looking at you is superior to a spoken language.
And which is the best way to test guns? By shooting them, because 10-15 years old or older guns with out any kind of maintenance never blow up in your face when you try to shoot them.
And then the apes learn to use the guns and they shoot literally thousands of rounds without ever reloading. No need to reload in wonderland... I, personally had one year of training for my military service, and I am still not sure how to use a weapon I was not trained with but hey I m not an ape!
A lot more stupidity from the writers and finally, the human warns the apes that the army is coming to wipe them out, but the ape leader which through the entire movie is depicted as intelligent, moderate and cautious does not order to hide in the woods. Instead he stays in the city waiting for the army.
The characters are a joke, especially the bad guys, and generally don't spend any money on this if you are over 16 years old. Don't watch it altogether if you are under 16 years old because it is full of stupid and meaningless violence...
- Just. Awful.by 29 July 2014on
181 out of 311 people found the following review useful:
What on EARTH are the people who have raved about this film watching? Anything other than a co-ordinated, presumably paid, campaign of solicited positive reviews seems improbable to me.
I was really looking forward to seeing this film. I loved the opening movie of this new take on the franchise for it's original and thoughtful way of kick-starting an updated 21st century imagining for the birth of sentient apes. I read Pierre Boulle's "Monkey Planet" in the 70's, and loved the original series of movies (even the naffer, later ones after "escape"). This may be largely influenced by my youthful age at the time and general love of science fiction.
I have no problem with the willing suspension of disbelief or escapism. A film doesn't have to make perfect sense in "the real world" for me to appreciate it. What i do have a huge problem with, however, is the lazy and cavalier way this movie utterly cuts loose from the premise so carefully set up in "Rise", and which i was intrigued to see explored further in this plot less, pointless travesty.
There is so much wrong with this movie that i am simply unable to catalogue it, however, here are a few pointers.......
1) it is set just 10 years after "rise". Yet, in this time, the West Coast of America has in the main turned into jungle. Old petrol stations are shown looking as overgrown and integrated into the greenery as various Inca ruins look today, surrounded by mature trees that tower above them.
2) There is a massive population of smart apes who can use sign language, and some talking apes living in the jungle. Far more than the indigenous population of the west coast could ever explain (though only (count 'em) one Orangutang, called Maurice, in the film's only nice touch - a nod to Maurice Evans who played Dr Zaius in the original). He, at least, can also write, scribing "Ape not kill ape" etc on rocks, which the baby apes can presumably read??? Are you chuckling yet? In just ten short years since "rise", 100's of thousands of years of evolution have been spread liberally, though very unevenly, across this vast ape population, who presumably flew over to the states when they heard how cool the west coast was to hang out at these days. Though, even the apes who can't talk yet, sort of grab that extra bit of evolution needed to get a bit shouty when some "dramatic" piece of "plot" development spurs them individually on....
Actually, i am losing the will to go on, since i would run up against the 1000 word limit long before i ran out of ire at the lazy, trite, inconsistent, banal, clichéd "plot" so i will limit myself to one more observation.
3) once the apes grab automatic weapons, as they invariably must, they become instantly proficient in their use and have the supernatural ability to summon UNLIMITED AMMUNITION from the same mysterious realm that transported them all in, forged their tree dwellings and bypassed Darwin so succinctly. Plus, they get the ability to put tanks on autopilot.
And i didn't even start on the humans tale.....what the hell was Gary Oldman thinking of, appearing in this pile of chimp manure. Or the overblown schmaltzy soundtrack, which "helpfully' illustrates important emotional, or dramatic "events" in the film.
Truly, this is an experience beyond parody. As Charlton Heston would undoubtedly have commented to the director and writers of this movie "You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell"
1/10 for very fluid CGI, though in 2014 i begin to question whether this warrants any points, such is the accepted state of the art?
- Great Effects, but Lacks Substanceby 15 July 2014on
137 out of 232 people found the following review useful:
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.
- A different kind of reviewby 12 August 2014on
115 out of 190 people found the following review useful:
I want to write a different kind of review for this movie because every other bad review has already said most of what is so bad about it. My two star rating is for Andy Serkis alone, who I think is a true artist with everything he does!
This review is a Spoiler from start to finish!
Massive budget - check
A reasonably good first movie of the franchise - check
Andy Serkis - check
Storyline - let's talk about that point
Writers sitting in a room to put together a "great storyline" for this sequel:
We are set only 10 years after "The Rise" so...
"What are the basics we need"?
"Good. What else"?
"Sure, but maybe a few less. Let's face it, the Apes have to have a chance at fighting the humans. Say we kill off most humans on earth, leaving just hundreds left in smaller groups...but how?"
"A virus! A virus that was a result of complicated genetic...."
"Perfect! A virus! And we can say it had something to do with the Apes and so on! We need to keep it simple. Moving on. What else do we need?"
"A new nice guy...Oh, and maybe a couple of "actors" playing his family"
"What happened to James Franco? Never mind...a new nice guy then. What about more important things now like...we need a war. So, how do we give the Apes a chance against the technologically advanced humans? Should they be 'building' sophisticated weapons to challenge the humans?"
"One option would definitely be to have the humans create a massive arms depot and just have two idiots look after it. Oh, and maybe these two idiots could also just spend their time drinking and shooting for no reason. It would be easier to kill them off that way. This way the Apes would have access to lots of guns, which they know how to use, since...they are intelligent."
"Awesome...but how do we explain the arms depot. Did I miss something about zombies or others human enemies in the outline?
"Nope, just the virus. The humans aren't really aware of the Apes initially.
"Ok...arms depot it is."
"How do we get things kicking off?"
"I'd say we need a human volatile and a monkey volatile."
"Say no more...done"
"I agree. That's it for today. We meet again next week to discuss the next sequel. Thank you for taking time of your well deserved luxury life style!"
This is my first review of a movie. The enjoyment of writing this review made up for the 2-hour agony of watching an appallingly bad story line together with poor acting and terrible scripting. And most of all - a negligence to explain anything to the audience.
- The philosophy of why we go to warby 19 July 2014on
92 out of 154 people found the following review useful:
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.
- The Age Old Taleby 21 July 2014on
118 out of 207 people found the following review useful:
Humans generally have a superiority complex that makes them often consider all other forms of life as inadequate. Civilization has exemplified the mass exploitation and selfishness humans are capable of in the past, and present, on numerous occasions. The Planet of the Apes series delves on this complex. It displays the vulnerabilities of the human race and how nothing is to be underestimated.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will surely entertain. As the sequel to the last instalment, we follow Caesar in his new habitat following the human pandemic instigated by the Simian influenza. In a world where the human population is depleted and infrastructure collapsed, society is broken apart and in a fragile state. With stubborn and selfish humans, the fate of humanity does not rest in good hands.
Watching this film, I cannot say there ever was a moment of dullness nor boredom. Though, for me, there was nothing exceptional about it. The plot is one that we have come to expect and the CGI was certainly state of the art. Putting this aside, it is the story of Caesar and the strive for freedom of all that captures this movie's true essence. Empathizing with these intelligent beings no longer being the tools of humans is one to both support and fear. It is this unique mixture of elements that make Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so touching yet stimulating.
This is a movie I'd recommend all to see since it offers a perspective many contemporary films fail to produce.
- Disappointed - can predict the whole story after 15minsby 1 August 2014on
98 out of 172 people found the following review useful:
I couldn't hide my eagerness to go to cinema on the first day, because the "first Ape" is soooo good. But after 15 mins of watching, I can predict the whole story, and keep hoping my prediction would be wrong. NO! The story is old, ridiculous and easy going.
The Dawn might receive my better review if it was released 10-15 years ago. But it's 2014, please, except CGI, the rest is easy to know before you watch, overwhelmed with non-sense details and very stupid.
- Apes teach each other human's language but never use it? - Apes live next to human around 10 miles but no one knows? Even the whole world has been trying to find them for years? - The factory is workable after so many years with just a little effort of 4 guys in several hours? Come on, I live in the country where we depend on such power source, to run such kind of factory, we need a big team of engineers, workers from many departments working together on specific conditions. - We just need a stupid man and stupid apes' leader ever to start the war so easily. - ipad, cameras and many electronic devices are working well after many years without power, wow. - Human are lazy,aggressive and selfish. I think when those people living in such kind of condition (no food, no electronics...), they should kill each other before apes come. ...
I don't want to list more and more non-sense and illogical details but how the writer can ignore so many basic thing like that? Huge disappointed about the "second ape".
Finally, the ape leader who didn't want the war, now stays in the city to wait an army coming to kill them all. OMG...Can't be "better" ending.
- Yawn of the planet of the apesby 24 July 2014on
62 out of 108 people found the following review useful:
After watching the 'not too bad' Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the 8.3 out of 10 rating is what made me think this film might be worth going to see at the cinema. I mean, if it was a bad film it couldn't get such a high rating, right? Well God knows who on earth is giving this such a high rating because it is a very poor film, even with my low expectations after the first film, which was mediocre (but a lot better than Dawn).
In Dawn, humans have mostly died out. Then some humans (who were apparently living in their hundreds just down the road from the apes, despite the apes claiming they haven't seen a human in over 2 years) stumble upon the apes' den in the forest. The humans want access to the dam that the apes have built their home around.
There are some good humans and some bad. There are some good apes and some bad. There is some betrayals and then war breaks out. It's all very, very, VERY predictable and we've seen it all before many, many times. There really is nothing new or interesting here. I mean, yeah OK it's an old 'one side against the other' story but Jesus man, if you want to keep the audience interested you've got to do something a little different! Every element of this film, including the subplots, have all been done before and it has taken no talent to write this story. All of the characters are bland and I really just wanted all the humans shot, good or bad, so that I wouldn't have to suffer their inane conversations.
I had to give this a 1 because it was so dull, so pointless, so unoriginal, so bland and a total waste of time.
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