In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted?
To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a ruthless terrorist, but the plan backfires when the same criminal impersonates the cop with the same method.
A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. Written by
Twentieth Century Fox
This marks the first 'Apes' film for Judy Greer (Cornelia). Her husband is reportedly a massive fan of Planet of the Apes (1968). Greer revealed in a interview with Vulture that that they had a chimp husband-and-wife cake topper at their wedding, while the original film and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) played on two separate televisions in the bar area at the cocktail hour. See more »
When Malcolm is in his room, packing to go to fix the dam, Ellie's left hand switches from on Malcolm's shoulder to off in between shots. See more »
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes jumps right into the time when the apes are beginning to build a new civilization while mankind is starting to fall apart. What makes this different from the last feature is it once again sticks more to its symbolism. Now this is the real deal of the context, it's obviously a truce between two sides, it is the part that is mostly known as the last chance before the unwanted fate of their world happens. Since everybody knows how things are going to turn out (regarding this as a prequel), it still provides the heartfelt tension of their trust to each other. Unlike Rise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn't only throw off a visual effects gimmick on screen, it also deeply focuses on the compelling themes beneath the tale.
Whatever legacy that was left from the last movie is the character development of the ape. Caesar has grown understanding more how the world works, his sympathy with the humans remains and he can still believe in peace in them and his own kind. However, anyone else in both sides stayed naive, paranoid on what they're planning to do. It doesn't lack any information, the rubble already shows the crisis going on in those streets and the characters are given their own backstory to effectively define their motivations, thus this is a situation which is far from good vs. evil. The real enemy of this conflict are simply fear, cynicism, and sometimes revenge. It is a dilemma that is a few steps closer to the edge of their trust. And that is how the whole story works, it makes the audience real nervous about the decisions each of the characters make.
Even when it's already packed with a great director and a great cast, the film still manages to keep on telling the story straightly, like exactly pinpointing the allegories without distracting any demanded pleasures that you would typically ask from a blockbuster. But as said, it still offers those elements when necessary. Director Matt Reeves gives this franchise a whole new tone. Blockbusters today tend to be ultra serious and darker, but Reeves is one of the rare directors who could live up to that ambition. He doesn't only bring the atmosphere, there are also some nicely shot action scenes that deliberately displays the horror and violence of the battles.
But the merits doesn't end there of course. The acting is stellar, mostly pointing at the man behind the leading ape, Andy Serkis. He's always been terrific in this job, but here there is more gravity and grittiness to the performance than before, whether it's physical or vocal. The motion-capture performances just add a lot of exceptional value to the CGI work which could totally outshine everything else in the filmmaking. The actors who played human characters also did good, with Jason Clarke handling his role well.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is more than a stunningly made film, it thoughtfully considers real depth within its storyline which results an overwhelming experience even without an excess of action. There is already suspense existing at the complexities of the species' treaty. The battle scenes just becomes the gravy of it, but really, the analogies is what makes it really compelling. After years of attempting to bring back the original spirit of the series, the filmmakers has finally realized that this is what this mythology is all about. Except it has become grittier. The film just triumphs in its choices, which it's almost difficult to call it a blockbuster, because blockbuster asks you turn off your brain. This movie makes you open your heart.
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