Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not a sequel movie. Well, I mean it is but it stands on its own as a film rather than another part of a franchise. Caesar is back with his team of well behaved apes that have apparently taken over a large part of the world. They live on the outskirts of San Francisco in the now lush forests. The apes have created their own civilization, one that is primitive but it works. Caesar is their leader and Koba his number two.
Now that they have created their own living spaces, the apes and humans keep their distance from one another. Jason Clarke and his group of human counterparts stumble upon the ape encampment while looking for the dam outside of the city that will restore power to the city. Caesar does not want them there but they ultimately, albeit begrudgingly, allow the humans to stay and fix it. Dawn is appropriately straightforward. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have its share of surprises.
Trust is a huge issue throughout with Caesar putting too much into Koba and his son, Blue Eyes, not putting enough in his father. Acting is phenominal on Andy Serkis' part. His movements are defined perfectly under motion capture. Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer and the other apes also did a great job. For the humans, though, they're mostly just there. Jason Clarke's character isn't the most thought out guy but he means well. Keri Russell is given even less to do but come through in the last third of the film. Gary Oldman was barley there and Clarke's son played by Kodi Smit-McPhee was underutilized as far as character goes. But they all did an admirable job with what was needed from them no matter how small the task. Is it fair, though, for me to fault this movie about apes for not using its humans to their full potential?
Should you watch Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes?
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is the best movie this summer. Period. It presents new ideas while developing its old setting. The apes are slowly taking over the world and it's a beautiful thing to watch. Thematically, the movie stands above its predecessor. Trust, love, anger, and fear all play major roles as times change for the world....excuse me...planet of the apes.