A decade after their escape, Caesar and his fellow super-intelligent apes strike a tenuous peace with human survivors of the simian virus.
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The second instalment in the Andy Serkis led trilogy is spectacularly entertaining but not without its flaws.
It’s been ten years since the simianiflu wiped almost all of humanity and rapidly increased the intelligence of apes in the process. The humans that survived now live in fear of the apes and avoid crossing paths at all cost. Our new human protaganist ‘Malcolm’ played by Jason Clarke is in search of a power source and enters the apes’ territory lead by Caeser (Andy Serkis) to ask if they may restore a hydro dam that would bring power back to the humans’ small town. This of course sets up our story and trouble unfolds for both ape and man.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a solid sequel and really throws the emphasis on telling the apes’ story through their eyes instead of previous incarnations which would usually favour the humans’ experiences. Andy Serkis once again is spectacular as ‘Caeser’ using motion capture (even if it can look a little dated even only after a few short years since release).
The problem with this film is not that it doesn’t deliver on what you would expect but it does so in a bare minimum fashion. Coming down from the first instalment where the world as we know it is ending in brings the stakes down so low it barely makes a mark on the overall story arc. You could miss this one out and go straight from the first movie to the third and you would barely miss a beat.
That’s not to say you should however as this story, small scale as it is – definitely deserves a couple of hours of your attention. It shows humanity through apes, the beasts inside humans, and how society helps shape who we are. The bonus of it’s downsized story telling however means it’s easy to jump straight in with little knowledge of previous events and there’s enough going on (even with the lack of big action scenes) to keep one ticking through start to finish.
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