Sound Off: Matt Reeves' 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' - Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
July 11, 2014
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Apes strong together." Now in theaters everywhere is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the Planet of the Apes reboot from 2011 called Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), this latest Apes movies introduces us to a new set of humans: Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman. Caesar is back, once again played by Andy Serkis, with Toby Kebbell as Koba. Does it live up to Rise? Is it one of the best sequels ever? Once you've seen it, post a comment with thoughts on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!
This movie is incredible. I've seen it twice already, it's one of my favorites of the entire summer, in fact, it's just too damn smart to be a summer movie. It's one of the best movies of the year. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an extraordinary achievement of filmmaking craft, from the world itself to the set design to the Apes and visual effects seamlessly integrated with humans to the performances on both sides, and at the same time delves deep into societal issues today that plague humanity. Dawn is not a movie about humans, it's a movie about apes. It starts with apes, ends with apes, focuses on apes as protagonists, and only introduces humans as villains, who disrupt and cause more chaos than any good, even though it's only about survival.
There are so many brilliant scenes, and memorable moments throughout (thanks to outstanding work by Matt Reeves). Every scene involving Caesar is riveting, he is a non-human character who has more depth and emotion than most human characters in most Hollywood movies released all year. When the apes show their strength for the first time, that is an incredible moment. The long-take shot with the ape on the tank was breathtaking, not to mention the brutality of apes with guns fighting humans with guns. The scene about "human work" and the apes slowly learning to speak, to evolve, watching them learn about emotions through betrayal, loyalty, and freedom. Exceptional in every way, it is a triumph of modern movie-making.
What did you think of Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Stellar sequel or a mess?
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