Learn To Love And Avoid A World Of Hurt

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
5 Out Of 5 Stars


With a film of the commercial realm, art has definitely NOT gone out the window, thus deeming it OSCAR WORTHY and putting it into a whole new level of AMAZING!


"APES!!  Do NOT!  Want!  War!
... But!  Will!  Fight!  If!  We!  Must!
... *points* Ape!  .... Home!  
... *points opposite* Human! ... Home!  
... DO NOT!! ... come ... back."

The virus has spread, the earth a dead zone, the human race is all but extinct.  Those who’ve survived have banded together in a joint effort to stay alive on what little resources they can muster.  In San Francisco, a small group has their base camp.  But need to get power to it before it all runs out, ending life as they know it.  So they search for use of a not too far away water damn.  They just run into a little problem along the way … APES! 

Caesar (Andy Serkis), our risen hero from the last story of apes (Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)) and his newly formed family that he leads has settled in a home in the forest that’s near the damn; where the humans have to venture to and through the world of the apes to utilize the power from the damn.  Both sides have their reservations of the other from previous, bad experiences.  So love and trust are completely out the window; where love in the lives of either side is all it would’ve taken to restore faith in life again, avoiding a world of hurt.  Yet fear and hatred take over, thus spawning the beginning of the end for all life if this path is continued upon.  In this next chapter of this newly revised ape saga that respectfully pays homage to its roots and does it oh so well, we find out what happened … before the dawn! 

Masterpiece!  Simply a masterpiece! 

Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his band of specially enhanced apes prepare to attack!

From the very first opening images, I was completely in tears.  This put me in the correct mood to experience this story.  Any good film, I’m talking the ones that you deem as one of the greatest you’ve ever experienced, perfectly take you out of your world and into its world.  “Stop caring about what’s going on in your world and focus on this one.”  I immediately forgot who I was or where I was, and all I could focus on was what was going on in front of me.  This rarely happens, and I become overwhelmed with joy when it does!  I was now in the presence of a masterpiece, after the opening scene I knew this and every scene after that proved such. 

Andy Serkis as our ape hero Ceasar has taken the motion capture technology to a new level!  I loved how he and the other actors who embarked on this journey to become the highly advanced apes, because of the last film, completely lost their human aspects and completely took on that of the apes.  Word of a special Oscar is rumored, however, to me, this is just another form of GREAT acting and someone like Andy Serkis for Apes should be just another name on the ballot as a Meryl Streep for whatever film she’s up for that year yet again.  No specialty needed here.

I loved how the story clearly defined the objectives of both sides.  With Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who just wanted what was best for the humans, I totally understood why he did what he did.  Or with Malcolm (Jason Clarke) who had the mindset to see both sides of humans as well as apes and fight for what was best for both.  Keri Russell added to Clarke’s touch on the story.  A story that has a genuine complexity that perfectly pays homage to its forefathers with its message of “make love not war” and doesn’t try to do too much and go over the top; say with over complicating the complexity of its heroes with the exception of Ceasar.  So to translate, there was no reason to try to “humanize” Jason Clarke a little more or Keri Russell just a tad because the story they’re placed within was complex enough and more would’ve been “trying too hard”. 

Keri Russell (Ellie) in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Just look at Ceasar’s son “Blue Eyes” (Nick Thurston), a name that gives a nice transition from this last film Rise, which is a gem to enjoy from the original.  Blue Eyes was a very emotional and conflicted character.  The ape equivalent of the rebellious human teenager, I could completely relate to him. 

Or Ceasar’s wife “Cornelia” (Judy Greer), another reference from the original, who also paid a STRIKING resemblance to “Zira” another reference to BOTH the original film series as well as the primitive French novel from 1963, which spawned all of these ape stories over the decades.  When Cornelia was in pain, I was in pain.  I could completely relate to yet another character here in the narrative.  

Toby Kebbell (the ape Koba we first learned about in in the last film Rise) I feel has a prosperous career now ahead of him because of this film.  I understood his objectives as they were opposed to Caesar's and it all personified the adventure, helping me to identify with each aspect of it.     

I completely LOVED all the references to the original film series and the novel, Cesar being the obvious one.  But take the long trek into the world of the apes (the home they established in the woods) that takes one out of their world and into the foreign and unknown where fear completely take over as with Malcolm (Jason Clarke).  This was fascinatingly conveyed to give such experience with the editing and music, a soundtrack I simply MUST purchase!  Heck of a job Michael Giacchino! 

Add this on top of automatically understanding the problems of the humans because as a human I can relate.  In addition to such, director Matt Reeves (who’s already signed on for the next ape film) takes us by the hand to have us relate all the more with the problems of the humans and get us on their side in addition to having learned about the apes.  Rooting for both, yet wanting peace for all, and eager to discover what happens next!

Masterpiece!  Simply a masterpiece! 

Koba (Toby Kebbell) convinced that all humans are evil! 
Anyone who says otherwise (like it’s just a good popcorn flick and nothing more), I respectfully disagree.  Me and the countless others who have put this film in the 90th percentile, the A to A+ range, the perfect or close to perfect part of the diagram, couldn't get enough!    

This story with its nature and such puts in the category of a film like Gladiator, The Dark Knight, or Braveheart, action with a purpose, not just blowing up things for the sake of blowing things up.

Just like the aforementioned films, it’s OSCAR CALIBER! 

A work of art!

Go see one of the best films of the year. right. now!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Science Fiction, 130 Minutes, PG-13
Based on the novel "La Planete des Singes" 
by: Pierre Boulle
Based on Characters Created by: Rick Jaffa 
& Amanda Silver
Screenplay by: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, 
and Mark Bomback
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, 
Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer, Nick Thurston, 
& Gary Oldman

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