*After seeing footage of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” back in May, I waited with bated breath to see the finished product, which has far exceeded my expectations.
“If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it numerous times, Andy Serkis ”
Just as there have been technical advances in filmmaking, the awards categories should be updated to include motion-capturing technology.
The rebooted “Planet of the Apes” franchise has done extremely well. And since “Dawn,” directed by Matt Reeves, is just as entertaining as “Rise”—if not more—a third is inevitable. “Dawn” has all the elements [action adventure excitement, suspense, intrigue, conflict, love] that go into great filmmaking. Caesar and his genetically altered, super-intelligent Ape population have, out of necessity, relocated to the Muir Woods, outside of San Francisco. The atmosphere is seemingly calm until Humans show up to activate an inactive hydroelectric plant on the other side of the divide.
The Apes as well as the Humans have their mad men. Koba (Toby Kebbell) has physical, as well as emotional, scars from years of laboratory experiments done on him. He distrusts Humans and is not alone with that sentiment. Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), the leader of the Humans, and his faction think the Apes are a threat and should be eliminated. Malcolm (Jason Clarke), on the other hand, a former architect, wants to rebuild the Human community. He thinks Humans can co-exist with Apes.
There are clashes within the Human and Ape ranks, and between the two groups. The allegorical proliferation of guns only adds fuel to an already volatile situation. Through all the drama onscreen, viewers experience the ultimate in escapism while sitting in their seats.
The cast also includes Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jon Eyes, Larramie Doc Shaw, Jocko Sims, Deneen Tyler, Mustafa Harris, Monica Renee Anderson, Jazzy Ellis, Tina Gilton and Lucky Johnson.
Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]