Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Talents : Andy Serkis (mo-cap), Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Directed by: Matt Reeves. Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Based on a novel by Pierre Boulle.

Tiera: Great observation on how violence can arise and become a way of life in rise in defiantly peaceful societies and a wonderful look at how the needs of two different societies can clash due to trying to fulfill their needs. For the humans, the quest for hydro-electric power and a return to their way of life, for the apes, isolation and solitude they have fought and suffered so hard to earn. This was a lot more intense than I expected going on it both visually and thematically. The dark, gloomy yet beautiful forests to the reclaimed San Francisco nicely reflected the conflicts of human nature and the movies underlying themes. Humanity, capable of such amazing things and the same time amazingly horrible were illustrated particularly effectively in the scene where (spoiler alert!) the power came back on at the gas station, back dropped by The Band’s “The Weight”.

Tiero: Great cast used effectively, some familiar faces, some old – the great Gary Oldman playing against type (not a nice man) and Keri Russell while relative new face Jason Clarke is the main human character and plays is well as both likeable and relatable. In a smaller part, Kodi Smit-McPhee, excelled as their son and as a natural diplomatic bridge between the apes and the humans. The (spoiler alert!) reading scene with Maurice was amongst the films highlight and one that I thought helped to fuel the underlying feeling of very relatable feelings of tragedy and hope this series evokes so well. While perhaps a bit dense in storytelling, it stands up well as an action / thriller with political / societal undertones. Interestingly both the action and story are turned up a notch, expanding from the first movie as a good sequel should do. If you liked the first one I think you’ll really like this one, though if you came for more James Franco I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.

Tieree: Great special effects, wonderful Mo – cap / CGI blending. Cool sets – the Ape fortress looked realistic and practical. Big Ape battles including a stellar mass hunting scene complete with machine gun-toting Apes. However, sadly no Ape on human action (wink wink) in this entry either, but i assume they’re saving that stuff for later installments. One can only hope!

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