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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

Set in San Francisco, a "simian" virus (though it was created by man) has wiped out most of the human population and the apes have retreated to the forests. The ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis), a victim of unethical laboratory experimentation, distrusts the humans. But when a small group of humans invade their area, it eventually precipitates a battle of power over who will dominate. Superior to its predecessor RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, director Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) has created a thrilling and provocative action piece that is a perfect example of the intelligent summer blockbuster. It builds such good will that one can forgive it running out of steam by the time it reaches its conclusion. The film's biggest flaw is that, unlike the engrossing ape characters, it can't do much with its human characters. A duller more insipid bunch you won't find anywhere and they bog the movie down whenever they're on screen which is a lot. But Andy Serkis is terrific here, a really strong physical as well as emotional performance. Of course, the film is laden with CGI but it's well done CGI or as well as can be expected making something unreal look real. It's one overcast film though in the visual sense, browns and grays dominate and I couldn't help but wish for a splash of yellow or red! With Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell as the film's simian villain and Gary Oldman as his human counterpart.

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