Written July 17, 2014
I was never a fan of the original Planet of the Apes. Though it's a sci-fi classic, and I'm a sci-fi fanatic, I couldn't get past the goofy-looking prosthetics. And seriously... they look goofy. When Tim Burton took a stab at remaking the franchise by bringing back the goofy prosthetics, I cringed. But along came Rise. The film impacted me at such a basic level. Watching Cesar's growth as a character was like watching human evolution in a snippet. The apes rising was such a dramatic moment!
Dawn takes all those elements to the next level. This is more than a fantastic film, with tremendous acting on behalf of the MoCap cast (Andy Serkis needs a lifetime achievement award now), a deep commentary into the dark side of human nature, especially destructive traits like racism, speciesism, and all sorts of prejudice and hatred.
I walked out wanting to be an ape... and highly, highly entertained!
Written July 13, 2014
While I appreciated the parallels and usage of lines from the original movie series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was awful!
Written July 12, 2014
I missed Rise of the Planet of the Apes in the theatres, saw it on BluRay when it came out in the stores. Loved it and kicked myself for not catching it in the theatre.
So, when I saw they were having a double feature with the new one, I had to go see it. And it was so worth it - I hadn't seen Rise but the one time, so it set up Dawn perfectly. I almost forgot how great Rise was.
Dawn was awesome, too, so much fun, so many apes. I heard a radio DJ remark that people thought it was violent. Well, duh. But so very well done, such a great story and action.
Written July 11, 2014
Watching the two movies back-to-back helped to build story continuity. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues to explore the themes of control/domination, and the interplay of loyalty versus sympathy and vengeance. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes (the first movie in this version of the franchise) invested a lot time with character development of the human characters, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes focuses much more on then character development of the Apes. Dawn of the Apes leaves most of the human characters uncomplicated, obvious, and 2-dimensional. Consequently, this viewer found the ape characters to be more interesting and even more "human" than the Human Sapiens characters. The post-apocalyptic setting renders plot sequences that are often predictable but still entertaining. The obligatory conflict scenes are well constructed and choreographed with convincing special effects and only a few subtle continuity gaps. Rise and Dawn of the Apes purposefully blur our conventional distinctions between our concepts of Animal and Human. As the franchise continues, the producers will have the opportunity to further explore more compelling aspects of human identity, dignity, integrity. Recall the space voyage to Mars that was lost in Rise of the Apes?
Written July 26, 2015
Originally written July 10, 2014 -- This is really the only way to welcome a new Apes movie to the big screen -- by watching the one that came just before it and the next chapter back-to-back! I am absolutely mesmerized by the performance of Andy Serkis as Caesar, the ruler of this colony of sentient apes. He knows, perhaps better than anyone, what will happen if apes and humans can't find a way to either live separately from each other or in harmony with one another. But he isn't the only one who has a say in how things will proceed! I loved this special marathon of these two soon to be classic Apes films!