Seamless ape sequel shocks and awes

NADINE HANCOCK
Last updated 12:30 25/07/2014
: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

STUPEFYINGLY VIOLENT: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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MOVIE REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman; directed by  Matt Reeves

A friend of mine says Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the perfect movie and I agree. It is a flawless blend of good storytelling, great casting and seamless production.

So, as the release of its continuation approached, my anticipation increased. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the movie I've been waiting for all year and it was finally here.

Set several years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the human race is dying out as a result of the devastating virus that scientists introduced in the first film.

Living in peace away from humanity, Caesar leads an ever evolving and growing community of his own; one with rules, devotion and a simple but functional living environment. With a single act of unnecessary violence from one human, the two civilisations collide, catapulting into the story which makes each group question their loyalties.

A good science fiction narrative should make us question ourselves, what we stand for and how we treat each other.

It shouldn't isolate audiences because of its genre and it shouldn't be over the top or try to be all flashy.

It should tell a good story, have a clear message and make audiences think.

This film definitely does that thanks to an extraordinary team of writers and a convincing cast who are well directed.

Andy Serkis brings the intimidating, yet mesmerising Caesar to life.

His character is one of the most compelling to appear in film for some time. Confidence and strength oozes out of him with a single glance proved by the first and final frame of the film.

Even without the evolved ability to speak, his facial expressions match those of Martin Freeman who is able to display an incredible level of intensity and emotion with one look as recently shown in the television adaptation of Fargo and, of course, Sherlock.

Like its predecessor, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is traumatic to watch. The ugly parallels between the human race and the Apes are not surprising but confronting to watch unfold. The story is told without cliches instead using honest plot points which will leave you breathless at times, with your mouth wide open in shock.

If you only see one movie in theatres this year, make it this one. I can't fault it in any way.

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- The Southland Times

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