After the success of the reboot, a second movie was almost guaranteed to be made. Just like Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, there was some aspects of the movie that mirrored one of the previous movies in the franchise, in this case it would be Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, but while there are some similarities, this is definitely not a remake. When I first heard about the movie, I was really excited to hear it and could not wait to see it. So of course, I wound up not seeing it in theaters for one reason or another, which I will admit to being disappointed in myself for it. I did make up for it by buying the Blu-Ray when it first came out, and after watching it, immediately regretted my decision even more. So let’s get into today’s movie, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.
The plot: 10 years after the events in San Francisco, the majority of the human race has been wiped out by the ALZ-113 virus, dubbed the “Simian Flu”. In the forest where they are living, Caesar leads a group of apes on a hunt for deer but when his son, Blue Eyes” wanders closer to a captured deer, he is attacked by a bear. Caesar goes to help his son but when he is disarmed, calls out for help and is saved by Koba. The hunting party returns to their village, where Caesar is alerted to the impending birth of his second child, a son. Later, Caesar talks with his friend Maurice and the two wonder if the humans really are all gone, as they have not seen any in the past two years. The next day, Blue Eyes and Ash, Rocket’s son, are returning to the village from fishing when they run into a man named Carver, who is scared by the two apes and draws his pistol and ends up shooting Ash in his panic. Carver calls for help and the rest of his scouting party show up just as Caesar and the other apes, having heard the shot, arrive at the scene. Malcolm, the leader of the human group orders his men to lower their weapons, then tells Caesar that they mean no harm. Caesar yells at the humans to “Go!”, shocking them at first but when he yells again, they leave and Caesar has Koba and some other chimps follow them. Malcolm’s group head across the Golden Gate bridge into San Francisco, where the surviving humans are living under the command of Dreyfus. Malcolm informs Dreyfus that the dam they were looking for looks secure and would be able to generate power for them but the apes will probably not let them near it and Dreyfus tells them not to say anything to the rest of the survivors. Koba returns to the village and during a council meeting, says they should fight the humans now before the humans but Maurice and some of the other apes argue that they don’t know how many people, or guns, are there or why they were in the forest in the first place. Caesar says that he doesn’t want a war as it could destroy everything they have built but will make a decision in the morning and dismisses the council. The next day, Caesar and the majority of the village head into San Francisco and ride up to the edge of the human’s sanctuary. When Malcolm goes out to speak with Caesar, Caesar tells the gathered humans that the apes will fight if the must and warns the humans to stay on their side of the bridge. After the apes leave, Dreyfus tries to keep the survivors from panicking and tells them that they will find a way to get to the dam. Later, Dreyfus and Malcolm talk and Malcolm wants to go and meet with Caesar and try to talk with them but Dreyfus tells him that he is going to the armory and if Malcolm isn’t back in three days, he will go up and kill all of the apes. The next day, Malcolm and his small team head back to the forest and Malcolm has everyone stay in the cars while he goes on ahead. He makes his way up to the ape village, where he is soon captured and brought before Caesar but manages to convince Caesar to let him show him why he is there. Malcolm takes Caesar to the dam and explains what they want to do and says he doesn’t want a war. The apes take Malcolm back to his group and Malcolm tells them they can stay but they have to turn over their guns. At ape village, Rocket destroys all of the guns but Koba isn’t happy and says that they should kill the humans while they are weak. Caesar says that this is their one chance at peace and to let the humans do their work but Koba angrily points out the scars he received as a test animal. At the human’s campsite, Carver says he doesn’t trust the apes, blaming them for the virus, despite Ellie, Malcolm’s girlfriend telling him scientists created the virus. The next day, under the ape’s observation, Malcolm, Carver, and the other men check out the dam and, noticing some debris blocking the water flow, decide to try and blast it free. When they trigger the explosion, it cause a cave in on the tunnel and they are trapped but Caesar and the other apes help Ellie and Malcolm’s son Alexander to free them. As Ellie tends to the people’s injuries, Malcolm goes to thank Caesar but Caesar’s young son uncovers the shotgun Carver had hidden and when Carver draws it, Caesar quickly grabs it and after threatening the humans, throws it in the lake and tells them to leave. Meanwhile, Koba and two other chimps had gone back to the city and discover the human’s armory and Koba says there are enough guns there to kill every ape and that they should warn Caesar. Back in the forest, Malcolm and Ellie go back to the village to try to apologize to Caesar when they see that Caesar’s mate is sick. Ellie offers to help and Caesar agrees to let her, then says they can stay one more day, and the apes will help them. The next day, Carver is forcefully placed in one of the cars and left there while Malcolm and the others head back to the dam. When Koba returns to the village and learns that Caesar is at the dam with the humans, Koba grows angry and heads to the dam, saying that Caesar loves the humans more than the apes. Caesar gets angry and attacks Koba but doesn’t kill hum, saying that apes don’t kill apes. That night, Caesar tries to explain things to Blue Eyes but Blue Eyes refuses to listen to him, swayed to much by Koba’s distrust of humans. Koba goes back to the armory and steals a gun, then heads back to the human’s camp and kills Carver. When Malcolm and the others restore the power, Caesar tells Malcolm that he trusts him and takes him and the others back to the ape village and shows them the city, where the lights have come back on. When Caesar’s mate shows she is feeling better, Caesar and Blue Eyes both go to see her. Koba chooses that moment to have one of his followers set fire to one of the ape homes, then he goes to a lower level of the village. Caesar sees Koba approaching just as Koba points the gun at Caesar and shoots him, then leaves the gun and Carver’s hat to frame the humans. When Blue Eyes finds the gun, Koba says the apes should kill the humans, but Maurice tells Malcolm and the others to run and they are able to hide from the apes. Koba leads the apes to the city, where they attack the armory and grab the weapons there, then attack the human sanctuary and manage to take it over. Back at the ape village, Malcolm, Ellie, and Alexander are trying to get back to the cars when they find Caesar barely clinging to life. When they get Caesar to their jeep, Malcolm wonders how Carver got the gun and Caesar tells him that an ape shot him. Back in the city, Koba and the other apes are working on capturing all of the humans and when Koba tells Ash to kill some of them. When Ash refuses, saying that Caesar wouldn’t want this, Koba kills Ash and tells Blue Eyes and the other apes that they follow Koba now. As Blue Eyes goes outside, he sees Maurice, Rocket, and some other apes being held prisoner on a bus for being loyal to Caesar and Maurice warns Blue Eyes to be careful. Meanwhile, Caesar directs Malcolm and the others to the house he grew up in with Will and Charles and after bringing him inside, Malcolm goes to get a surgical kit so Ellie can treat him. Malcolm uses the subway station to get into the city and grabs a kit but runs into Blue Eyes, who points a gun at him at first but when he lowers it and allows Malcolm to leave but Malcolm stops him and tells him Caesar is alive. Malcolm and Blue Eyes return to the house and Caesar tells Blue Eyes that Koba shot him, and Blue Eyes apologizes and tells him about the other captive apes. Deciding to help his father, Blue Eyes goes back to the sanctuary and frees the other apes, as well as the captive humans and leads them back to the house. Blue Eyes tells Caesar that Koba has summoned the women and children to the city and Malcolm goes with Caesar and the apes, leading them through the subway tunnel into the city. When they are fired upon by a human sentry, Malcolms tells Caesar where to go, then goes out to meet the sentry, who leads him to Dreyfus and a radio operator. Dreyfus explains that they are wiring the tower to explode and kill all of the apes at once but Malcolm grabs a gun and tells him he can’t do let Dreyfus do it, wanting to give Caesar time to stop Koba himself. Caesar and the others make their way up to the tower, where Koba challenges Caesar’s authority and the two start fighting. Back in the tunnels, Malcolm tries to reason with Dreyfus but Dreyfus says it doesn’t matter as they made contact with a military base up north and reinforcements are on the way, which is confirmed by the radio operator, then Dreyfus grabs the detonator and presses it and Malcolm is barely able to avoid the blast. As the tower starts to collapse, Caesar and Blue Eyes work to rescue some fo the apes but Koba grabs a gun and begins shooting at Caesar, killing some apes and wounding Maurice in the process. Caesar attacks Koba, knocking him off the ledge and as Koba clings to the edge, he begs Caesar not to kill him, saying apes do not kill apes but Caesat tells Koba that he is not an ape and lets him fall. Heading back down the tower as the women and children arrive, Caesar tells the apes to let Malcolm go when the bring him out. Malcolm warns Caesar about the soldiers coming but Caesar says that an ape started the war and humans won’t forgive them for it. The both apologize to each other as they felt they had a chance for peace, then Malcolm leaves as Caesar heads out to the apes to prepare for what is coming.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes met with high praise from the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “With intelligence and emotional resonance to match its stunning special effects, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes expands on its predecessor with an exciting and ambitious burst of sci-fi achievement.” Like the previous film, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, as well as several other awards. The movie was a box office success, earning $710.6 million off of a $170 million budget, making it the highest grossing movie in the franchise .
One of those few movies were the sequel is as good as, if not better than, the original, this is a fantastic movie. The acting was incredible, with Jason Clarke (Malcolm), and Gary Oldman (Dreyfus) doing great jobs in their roles while Andy Serkis (Caesar) and Tobu Kebbell (Koba) doing equally good jobs in their roles. The writing in this movie was incredible, doing an excellent job in building up the relationship between Caesar and Malcolm, as well as showing the buildup for Koba’s betrayal and how similar Koba and Dreyfus both are in their desire to be the dominant species. The special effects were fantastic, with the motion capture and computer generated animals being incredibly life like. An incredible movie that is well worth watching, even if you aren’t a fan of the series.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5