Review of the 2014 film – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

After numerous remakes of the Planet of the Apes films I think we have finally arrived at the most promising of them all.


The first of the latest films, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ was released in 2011 and revealed an impressive storyline, alongside some great special effects and saw a very believable relationship grow between ape, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and Will (James Franco).

The latest addition to the franchise ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, released earlier this year saw its director, Matt Reeves take it up a notch in terms of powerful storyline, emotional shots and in the ability to enable the viewer to empathise with its characters. Although a different director from the first, the story is continued.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is set ten years after the spread of the devastating virus from the previous film. It follows what’s left of the struggling human civilisation in their fight for survival and the apes as they go head to head in what can be described as a brutal war for territory.

Malcolm (Jason Clarke) plays a father who is fighting to put his family back together after losing his wife as well as trying to act as the peace keeper between the humans and the apes. Both he and Caesar (Serkis) build a strong bond throughout the film, but will this be enough to end the war and save what’s left of the human race?

The pace of the film is consistent all the way through, and my eyes did not wander off of the screen once. The scenes were the perfect length and Reeves got the right amount of suspense, action and emotion perfectly balanced. I felt every part of the film from start through to finish, and as I left the cinema I felt myself sigh with relief.

One other thing I will comment on is the detail in the eyes of the apes. Throughout the film I found myself unable to stop staring at their super realistic eyes. The backdrop for the film and the scenery in each shot was carefully thought out and was equally as fine as the previous.

There were stand-out performances from Andy Serkis (Caesar) as per usual, Jason Clarke (Malcolm) who took the baton and ran with it superbly, Toby Kebbell (Koba) who had the undermining villain mastered to a tee, Nick Thurston (Blue Eyes) played Caesar’s son with naivety and truly believably and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Alexander) played Malcolm’s son really believably and his interactions with the apes made him a natural for the role.

All in all I would definitely recommend Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to anyone who loves a good action film. The special effects are done well, the story is told superbly and you’ll leave the cinema with your heart in your shoes. What are you waiting for?!?

Words by Michelle Stannard

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