10 years after the Simian Flu outbreak, Caesar and his growing population of genetically altered apes is confronted by humans nested in a nearby compound as they struggle to survive. After briefly coming to peace, a war begins between apes and humans to determine which is Earth's dominant species in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
I was excited for this one primarily because I am a fan of Planet of the Apes in general. I liked the old movies and I really liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Now that I have seen Dawn I think that this is well on its way to becoming a dominant new take on the story.
The effects were spot on, the new characters and actors were a nice change, and it had a fairly interesting plot. My main complaint about this movie was timing, though. It seemed to take a very long time to even get to the real conflict and climax of the plot. I understand they wanted to focus on the progress Caesar made with the apes, but that seemed to surpass the struggles humans have faced over the past 10 years.
As far as the plot goes, the basics of it revolved around Malcolm who was given the task to regenerate a nearby dam so the compound could restore electricity and try to find other survivors or compounds. That's all well and good until Caesar is pressured by his ape council, primarily the former lab-monkey Koba, to show dominance over the humans. Caesar struggles with it ultimately pushing Koba away as well as inadvertently threatening the humans.
I will say the main wasted character, in terms of screentime and development, was Gary Oldman's character Dreyfus. The marketing built him up to be this major villain and ape hater but in reality he was hardly in the movie. He made a couple speeches and helped in the battle between apes and humans but he wasn't really a main character. I don't think any of the humans were really main characters other than Malcolm. This was truly an ape story and those apes were the main characters. I liked seeing Caesar's family and his interactions with his son. I also liked the brief return to James Franco's character and, I won't lie, it made my eyes a bit misty.
The main battle scene and the short events leading up to it were fantastic, but like I said before it seemed like we were waiting forever to get there. There was a point where I was sitting in my chair thinking, when is this going to pick up? When will someone fuck with Caesar or when will one of the apes go rogue and betray him? It was a long wait.
Overall I don't think I would say this one was better than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but it was still very good. Definitely worth seeing.
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