Caesar returns in this highly anticipated sequel, this time dealing with the possibilities of a war between the humans and the apes.
I gotta admit, I’m not a huge fan of the Planet of the Apes franchise, the main reason being I don’t like monkeys and the 2001 reboot suck ass. However Rise of the Planet of the Apes is really awesome but sadly I didn’t watch it fully. I didn’t even plan on watching the movie, hence the late review. But I decided to do it since I was pissed with Transformers: Age of Extinction and wanted to watch a better movie than that.
The result? Oh my God, this is probably the best movie of the year. Seriously as of this typing I’m still not sure whether X-Men Days of Future Past or this will be my movie of the year. For a movie about apes which I don’t really like, it’s really good to the point that I love the apes even more than the humans in the film! Well this is a movie about the apes, right?
Well that’s the best thing about the movie. Thanks to the motion capture technique allowing actors to play as the apes, THEY are the center of the attention, the cameras are focused on them, unlike Michael Bay who focused on the humans with the Transformers on the background.
The movie itself is a superior sequel and an outstanding movie on its own. As far as the plot goes, it’s really intense that makes you hoping for good things in the movie. For example, the humans and the apes starts of rocky, and it’s really intense, but when you see them getting closer, you begin to hope that peace between them may very well last long. But of course if they do that the movie won’t be titled “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” right?
Let’s talk about the characters, I’ll start with the apes. The best thing about the apes is the way they communicate, I love the usage of the sign language and the way the apes did it it feels really natural, giving the impression that these apes are really smart. And then you’ll notice that the apes evolve in the movie, in terms of communication. For example, Caesar starts the movie with sign language, but as the movie goes, as they interact more with the humans, Caesar speaks more and more, and you can notice that he even starts of with poor grammar but at the end of the movie he speaks with not perfect but far improved grammar. I gotta give props to whoever’s writing the screenplay to include the speech evolution in the apes.
As for Caesar, yes, Andy Serkis is famous for not only portraying this guy, but also popularize the motion capture genre. But here, him playing Caesar in this movie is by far the best performance by Andy Serkis so far, even beating his previous portrayal of Caesar in Rise. Caesar just looks like a total badass here. He is a powerful and respected leader, but a very kind person as well. I loved every of his interaction with the humans, especially during the scene where he watches his ‘father’ in a videocam.
For the main human character, Jason Clarke did a fantastic job as the human lead, Malcolm. His character is essentially the human counterpart of Caesar’s, that both have faith that humans and apes have a chance to be in peace, especially after the time they spent working together to repair the dam. Also, this is how Michael Bay should treat the human characters better, having them as a pivotal role but clearly stating them as the supporting characters. Because in this movie, they highlights Caesar’s scene first with Malcolm acting as a secondary character.
One of the best things about the movie is not only the acting but the emotion and depth that the characters displayed. We all sympathize on humans as well as the apes, heck, we even sympathize the bad guys as well, and that’s also a plus, the movie shows us that the bad guys are not purely evil, just once good guys forced to do evil things to save their own kind.
An example of this is Gary Oldman’s character Dreyfus. At first I thought HE was the main bad guy of the movie but no. He was desperately trying to protect humanity and to add layer to his character, he was shown to have lost his family. That scene was brief but it was very emotional and that moment makes me feel that whatever actions Dreyfus made, it may look unforgivable but it was necessary. By the way how come Dreyfus’ laptop has 75% battery when the electricity came back?!
Another example, and by far the best, fan favorite character of the film, is the ape Koba. He is the antagonist for the ape side and surprisingly he IS the main antagonist of the movie. And again this one is not purely evil here, he’s just a tortured soul who has been damaged and lost to the point that he lose trust against the humans for abusing him so much. We all have been through what he feels and I feel sad for him for suffering through that fate. Sure, he did a lot of unforgivable things and he deserved that fate in the end. But he had no choice. I mean he was abused mentally to the point of corrupt beyond redemption.
That being said Koba is the scene stealer of the movie, and other than Andy Serkis, I extremely enjoyed Toby Kebbell’s performance as Koba. Not only he gave a great performance as Serkis’ does, but he gives a lot of emotion, hence why we sympathize him. In the movie, Caesar tells Koba to let the humans to their ‘human work’, and then Koba retaliates by showing him his scars, saying ‘human work’ every time he shows each of his scars. To me that scene is the best scene of the whole movie, and definitely my favorite. Just feel the emotion that Koba gave, and his rising tone. Seriously I hope Kebbell was nominated for an Oscar for his performance, same as Serkis.
Overall, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a superior sequel to the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Heck, this is literally The Empire Strikes Back of the franchise, and that being said is automatically on of the best movies of this year, perhaps THE movie of the year. The story was intense, the characters are good, and the performances, especially by Serkis, Clarke and Kebbell are phenomenal. While this movie may not beat Transformers in terms of box office, it does in terms of better movie. Hell anything could beat Bayformers as long as it’s not Uwe Boll or Tyler Parry and Adam Sandler movies.
And with that, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Deserves an Award!!! Make it count, Oscars!