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Movie Review – “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

TwitReview – “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” proves that monkeys make everything better. The war begins between Apes and Humans. Great Ape battles and very dull humans (characters and acting). Grade: B


“Apes do not want war” -Caesar


It has been ten years since the events shown in Rise of the Planet of the Apes with the Simian Flu wiping out a large portion of the humans.  For the humans who lived, they gathered and eventually lived in villages set up inside the quarantine zones that had been enabled ten years prior. The have taken what food and water and weapons they can find and stock-pilled them for safety and protection from the Apes and each other. During these ten years, the first four were spent watching the world die from the virus while the next four was about the humans fighting each other. During this time they eventually learned to live together and try to keep the old world ways in this brave new world they lived in.

After the attack at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Apes gathered and moved to the forests of San Francisco (as seen in the first movie where Caesar tells Will Rodman [James Franco] that he is now home). During these ten years they have built their own organizational hierarchy that they live by – Ape does not kill Ape – and are teaching the young the ways of Caesar. There is a hierarchy in who the leader is (Caesar) and who the follows are that support him (Maurice, Rocket) and who the followers are that want to be the leader (Koba). The Apes speak a little big of English but generally speak in sign-language taught to them by Caesar.

There has been no contact with the humans for the past two years until a small group from neighboring San Francisco shows up looking to free a blocked damn that if restored to functionality, it would bring power back to the city. However the first encounter with the Apes by the humans results in Ash being shot. The Apes chase the humans back to San Francisco where Caesar declares that they will leave the humans alone if the humans will leave the Apes alone. Koba believes that the humans can’t be trusted while Caesar befriends the small group of humans that he allows access to fix the damn. During this time Koba finds that a mass storehouse of weapons are on the outskirts of the zone the humans are living in and he knows that Caesar won’t believe him unless there is proof.

What worked:

  • The Apes – the rise of the Apes into becoming the rulers of the planet starts here. We get to see how the Apes come to power and why the humans are not only dwindling in population size but also why the Apes will use them as slaves.
  • The action pieces where the Apes attack the humans shows how evolved the Apes have come over the past ten years since they were exposed to the chemicals that changed them.
  • The power struggle between Caesar and Korba and the wants and needs of the Apes and their society. This power struggle leads to a showdown that will leave you wanting more.
  • The Rise becomes the Dawn and the Apes move forward in their world.

What didn’t work:

  • The humans – bland and dull in both plot and acting. If you haven’t noticed I haven’t listed any of the characters that have been shown or who the actors are because all human parts were dull, boring, and bland. The group they show is just there to move the Apes into their next steps. The humans remind me of the Clones in Attack of the Clones as they were just introduces to allow the war between the Jedi and the Separatists to move into the Clone Wars. They were needed so Korba could do his things to try and take away the leadership from Caesar.
  • Why and how did the landscape change so drastically in ten years? There was a gas station in the woods? An iPad can still work years later when power is restored after the battery has been drained for who-knows-how-long?
  • The humans’ clothes looked too new, to 2014 and didn’t look shattered or ripped. For a society that has been living in contained zones/cities, you’d think that after a while the clothes would tear and wear out from constant wearing. Heck, I’m lucky I get a pair of socks to last more then a few months and these guys have stuff lasting for years.
  • The same with electricity and modern communications. How did this keep working with the human race being killed by the virus. How did the infrastructure stay in tack when the trees and the weeds and the landscaped changed during the past ten years. Wouldn’t the power lines be cut??


  • Forget about the humans as they are just pawns for the bigger picture and story. Enjoy the Apes!
  • Run time is 130 minutes and directed by Matt Reeves.
  • Grade: B

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