The movie continues several years after the conclusion of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The smart, genetically-evolved apes led by Caesar went to the jungle and made their own colony. They grew in number and many of them were trained to fight to survive. Meanwhile, a few of the remaining people living in a fortified complex in what remains of the San Francisco City ventured into the jungle to fix the dam that provides power. One of them encountered two of the apes and shot one by accident. Caesar and the rest of the apes appeared before these people and warned them about the implications of going to their territory. Will this start the war between the humans (who have dwindled in number because of the virus tested to the apes more than a decade ago) and the smart, strong and talking apes?
The movie was full of surprises. If you think you knew what’s about to happen, think again. The struggles humans face in the movie’s virus-stricken world made it a lot harder for them to live. The sharing of work was still there, but their activities were certainly limited. This was in contrast to what the apes were up to. They’d been hunting, training hard and educating the young. Both humans and apes found each other a threat, and it’s up to a few good people to stop the impending war between them.
Hats off to Matt Reeves (whose movies include Conviction and Cloverfield) for brilliantly directing the movie. Imagine, if directing human actors on the set is hard enough, what more if they’re interspersed with visual effects to make it appear like some of the human actors are apes. The way he tells this saga about humans and apes is consistently good and really smart. He knew what to do with the story and it showed magnificently onscreen.
Andy Serkis ably reprised his role as Caesar, the leader of the genetically-evolved apes. The way he moved and emoted showed ease and control that his character possesses. Toby Kebbell almost stole the show with his portrayal of Kobo, Caesar’s brutal ape adviser. Meanwhile, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell (as Malcolm and Ellie, respectively) held well in portraying the humans who went to the jungle and created a bond with the apes.
Needless to say, this movie has superb visual effects. The apes in the film looked amazingly real. It would make people wonder how the production team was able to come up with a lot of apes interacting with humans in various scenarios. It’s like Rise of the Planet of the Apes (its superior predecessor) gone bigger and better. This movie was a testament on how well the technology used in films has advanced throughout the years.
The movie was filled with satisfying action scenes. The scenes depicting the war wrought by apes to humans were commanding of attention as they were excellently choreographed. Humans battling the apes looked good, but apes battling other apes looked better.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was outright dark right from the start. It’s got light moments and funny ones once in a while, but its atmosphere got darker as it progressed. When Kobo took power in the ape colony, the movie became hauntingly terrifying. The ante of suspense got higher and was thoroughly sustained until the end. In addition, Michael Giacchino delivered an intense musical score, making the scenes a lot more terrifying.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 5 out of 5