Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Plot synopsis: In the wake of a disaster
that changed the world, the growing
 and genetically evolving apes find
themselves at a critical point with the
human race.
Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi
violence and action, and brief strong language)
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues the human-vs-smart-ape crisis some ten years after the viral outbreak which cost humanity the vast majority of the world's population. The apes are starting to take the lead, but the humans still have the weaponry, with each side fighting harder than ever for domination.

Like the first Planet of the Apes revamping, this film has spades of action, tons of story, and a strong emotional appeal throughout, as it keeps audiences torn between rooting for their own kind and a new race of super-apes.

The film's remarkably static intelligent undercurrent shows the intellectual and emotional growth of Caesar as a leader who can make complex moral decisions and advance his cause, thereby reminding us of what fortifies character. The problem? Well, how about why audiences would ever be expected to go for such a premise behind a remake in the first place?

The first film made us want to see how and if an ape could help us to better ourselves, but the second film pits apes and humans against each other, thus lowering the sophistication of its appeal. But as the first film caught on, so does the second. Both movies get the same grade since each have strengths that the other does not. Whereas the acting and character development has improved this time around (much thanks to the talents of Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Jason Clarke), the great length and loud, clamorous war standoffs prove to be a bit much. The same criticism applies to some of the dialog in the movie's second half.