MTV Review: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
It's a case of 'Sour Apes' for mankind as Andy Serkis and Gary Oldman star in the Matt Reeves-directed flick...
UK Release Date: July 17
Running Time: 130 minutes
Cast: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell
Director: Matt Reeves
Plot: Mankind has been wiped out by a simian-flu. A few human stragglers survive in a derelict part of San Francisco. Their future is not bright: they need to find a source of energy badly (and we’re not talking Red Bull here.) In the woods a community of clever talking apes is growing nicely. But there’s a little situation when one of the humans shoots an ape. The humans and ape master general, Ceaser (Serkis) parlay and he gives them permission to try kick starting a hydro-dam giving them all the energy they need. Miffed by this, Koba, a human hating, bad-ass ape with his own angry agenda starts all out war with the hapless humans, led my ape-hating Dreyfuss (Oldman) and it all goes bananas for apes and their less intelligent cousin: man.
Best Scene: Koba just casually jumping into a tank and ripping San Fran a new one as he pelts the human’s defenses with his canon. These apes really do have brains.
Best One Liner: “They’re talking apes with sharp-ass spears!” shouts Carver as the humans flee through the forest.
Date Movie or Mate Movie: Really… this is a primate movie! But there’s enough action to satisfying your man mates and enough sensitive moments for a date. (Or the other way round if your date likes explosions and hand-to-hand primate combat and you have a sensitive mate who likes movies that explore the close family bonds between humans and their hairy ape brothers.)
Scene Stealer: Too difficult too chose one actual scene. Instead, every scene is stolen every time Caeser or Koba or big ginger orangutan Maurice, appear because they look like actual walking, talking, living ape geniuses.
WTF Moment: Two humans drinking liquor and doing target practice are caught off guard when an ape waddles over to their post. Fear soon turns to LOLs as the ape starts monkeying around and asks for a glug of their booze. LOLs soon turn to OMFG as the silly monkey (yes, I know an ape isn’t actually a monkey.) snatches their machine gun and brutally lights them up.
Summary: Usually big budget, VFX heavy films flaunt their CGI smarts whenever they can instead of focusing on the important stuff like story and character (Uhh, hello Transformers…) But with Dawn, the impressive motion capture work from head Hobbit honcho, Peter Jackson’s VFX company WETA, is used to really amplify the emotions of this movie. Unfortunately the humans are a mere supporting cast compared to the real stars: the apes. This is a clever movie with grown up themes – gun control, democracy, politics. But it’s also an excellent romp through the forest of entertainment that’s both thrilling and heartening and if it doesn’t win the Oscar for Best VFX I’m going to go bananas.
By Michael Currell @MTVUK