HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Now You're Talking
Year: 2014
Director: Matt Reeves
Stars: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer, Jon Eyez, Enrique Murciano, Larramie Doc Shaw, Lee Ross, Keir O'Donnell, Kevin Rankin, James Franco
Genre: Action, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ten years ago, a terrible affliction befell mankind as a virus created in an American laboratory was allowed to escape and as a result cut down most of the world's population, leaving them far worse than decimated, as there were barely any survivors at all: billions died. Yet just as this was happening, another strain of genetic engineering had escaped as well, a group of lab apes who had become intelligent thanks to an anti-Alzhiemer's disease medication tested on them with unforseen consequences as the animals attained a level of consciousness equal to that of humanity. Led by Caesar (Andy Serkis), there are thousands of them in the forests of Northern California, and spreading all the time, but they haven't seen any people in two years...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes revitalised one of the most famous franchises in science fiction in a way that Tim Burton's remake of the first instalment had never been able to thanks to a superb script by husband and wife team Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver that understood the appeal of the series was at least a halfway intelligent plotline tackling major social issues yet never forgetting to be entertaining and suspenseful in the process. Couple that to the king of the motion capture Andy Serkis guaranteeing that acting a role as essentially a performance-guided computer graphic was to be reckoned with as much if he had put on an ape suit and delivered the character that way, if not more so, and a sequel was inevitable once Rise proved a hit, a sequel that saw Serkis, Jaffa and Silver return.

Cloverfield's Matt Reeves was your man at the helm this time, demonstrating his ease with the extensive special effects that had the film as more or less an animated feature in an update of the old days of rotoscope, and once again this demonstrated that done to most people's satisfaction, the Planet of the Apes movies had staying power, in particular when they could play out modern fears of mankind either being wiped out by their own technology out of control, or by usurpers whose mindset was very different to our own. Except this time around, the point was that the Apes were growing more human with every day, and that made them a lot more dangerous than if they had simply stuck with being wild animals: now they were organised, and deliberately or not emulating the former masters of the world.

Indeed, so compelling were these simians that they tended to overshadow some regretfully bland performances from the cast essaying the people, unlike the previous film where there was more balance between them. Our hero was Jason Clarke as Malcolm, only he wasn't really, he was more James Franciscus than Charlton Heston for the real attraction was Serkis' Caesar, an individual with real dimensions to his personality, and the other Apes followed his lead. Keri Russell was Ellie, the only human female with any significant screen time, which gave rise to accusations of neglecting half the audience from some quarters though that could be countered by pointing out the war themes in the narrative: Helen of Troy didn't start the Trojan conflict by herself, after all, it was those hopelessly aggressive males who were responsible for the bloodshed.

Here you were meant to notice the further the film progressed, the more human the Apes became, and thus more destructive and even murderous. Caesar's second-in-command was Koba (Toby Kebbell) who refuses to trust the folks in the nearby city of San Francisco (in ruins), ironically growing closer to us in his scheming and battle-ready demeanour than his boss does. You could chart this sorry evolution by the amount of talking they did; they begin by using the sign language learned in the lab, but by the end have adopted their hated oppressors' speech to communicate in a development with conscious echoes of George Orwell's Animal Farm. What this led to was a bunch of combat setpieces, as if there was a war movie struggling to get out of Dawn, much as it had in Battle for the Planet of the Apes the outline was drawn from, only improved upon. Yet only so far: the tendency to make the Apes more engaging than the humans, even with Gary Oldman as a neatly nuanced villain (everyone had their reasons in this) on our side, gave a lopsided air to an otherwise decent sequel. Music by Michael Giacchino.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3769 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: