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USA 2014
Directed by
Matt Reeves
130 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
4.5 stars

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Synopsis: It’s 10 years since the events of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Caesar now leads an ape society free from humans. That is, until a band of human survivors of the simian flu of that time enter their territory hoping to restore power to the city.

Dear Hollywood,

More please. More like this. I really like this. I’d almost forgotten you were capable of strong plots, interesting characters and thematic complexity. I was also very impressed by the way you twisted and turned the narrative, keeping things tense and then subverting expectations only to make things even more intriguing. I loved the way you managed to remain faithful to the preceding films while keeping Ceasar an engaging and humane figure. The inevitability of humanity’s enslavement remains but the journey is filled with both resistance and regret. How you led the story to that point while letting us hope Ceasar wins involved some very clever plotting, and I want to congratulate you on that.

I do wish some of the exposition wasn’t quite so on the nose. And as a suggestion, if a character is meant to be a minor villain, making him call himself out with an “OK, so I’m the asshole,” no matter how ironic, feels just a bit much. As a general rule, people don’t tell each other information that’s tacit in the relationship either. Throwing in a “Yeah, I know” from the other character doesn’t really excuse it.

But you know what, that’s just me being nit-picky, and the only reason I’m complaining is because you’ve managed to produce a near perfect example of what intelligent Hollywood can look like. You got in your action scenes, explosions, battles and SFX-laden spectacle, but you’ve given them substance in characters we know and either love or hate. Even the villains, you showed their path from hurt or angry to bad. And you made it sad.

Hollywood, I hope you make a fortune from this, because I want you to be incentivised. If smart can make as much money as dumb, we’d rather see smart. So more like this please.

The Audience




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