Movie #91 2021: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

I told you I enjoyed the first film, didn’t I?

That’s right, I watched the first two movies in this trilogy back to back and it was worth every second. We rejoin the now out in the wild Caesar and his tribe of ape friends who are promptly disturbed by some pesky humans intruding on their space. A group of scientists are working to stop the plague that has been destroying humanity and look to the apes for help. Caesar himself is the leader of the apes, as his intelligence and ability to speak to humans makes him the most powerful of all. However, an ape named Kobe goes rogue and calls into question everything Caesar has taught his friends.

Weirdly, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came with some extremely unexpected parallels to the real world. Of course I’m referring to the fact that half of the world’s population has been killed by a deadly virus in this movie. I did not come here for Miss ‘Rona on this day. Thankfully, the writers didn’t dwell on the details too much.

Honestly I care more about what happens to Caesar than I care about most fictional humans. What this part of the trilogy makes sure of is to keep the viewer on his side after learning about his upbringing in Rise of, and it does it extremely well in that regard. Keeping the audience aligned with the well-being of the apes is necessary here and for the most part, it’s extremely successful. 

The film itself comes with such detail and visual splendour that the entire effects department deserves a standing ovation for what they achieved with this sequel. Every single hair and every single wrinkle on every God damn ape is rendered to perfection and once again, it’s such a wonderful spectacle to behold. Clearly a labour of love and they deserve all the recognition for the talent they show here because it’s truly a pleasure to witness.

A movie about togetherness, bipartisanship and the pointless nature of war… but with apes. Although it’s obviously fantastical, so many of the issues covered here reflect real life right now to a scary extent and not just in regards to Coronavirus but there are so many allusions to racism, xenophobia and the fear of those who are “different” in this movie. Forget The SimpsonsPlanet of the Apes predicted the future. 

The only thing I couldn’t get down with is the length. I did not care at all about the drivelly human-led scenes and I certainly didn’t give a shit about Gary Oldman’s character, though I understand he was essential to the storyline. (It pains me to say that, by the way, because Gary is often my favourite actor.) If some more thorough editing had been done to get it down to 2 hours at the very most, this would be a near-perfect movie.

Even the score was improved this time round and to tell you the truth, I feel no shame in giving this 4.5 Qs. A true blockbuster that is worth its budget in every regard.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Rating: ½

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