Never before did I think that I could care so much for a computer generated image before the reboot of this series came about. Apes burst back onto our screens in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes which was a fantastic film in its own right. After watching Dawn though, it becomes clear that it was a mere stepping stone for what is achieved in this sequel.
Where to start, I genuinely loved everything about this film and found no faults with it. Firstly the Apes look even better than they did in Rise, and they looked good in Rise. Once again I was very impressed with the work done here and at no stage doubted the fact that I was watching real apes. The Apes again are the stars here, the rest of the cast can only be credited as supporting. However what a fantastic supporting cast, made up of Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell. I found myself thinking that they were underused however I quickly reassured myself that these characters should never be the focus and I am glad the makers of Dawn understood this too. Despite this their contribution is apparent and does enhance the film, the perfect balance that the film needs alongside the Apes.
I don’t think there has ever been a sci-fi or action film that has had so many genuinely emotional moments featured. I found myself really caring about the Ape relations and the decisions they would make, I too was striving for that peace that Caesar so badly wanted. The emotion was heartfelt and despite its constant presence it never failed to impact you. Two moments in particular were extremely powerful, the attempted murder of Caesar and the death of Ash. Both these moments shocked me and grasped me, they engaged me in a way that I haven’t really been engaged in film for a while. The film makers were not afraid to script these big moments and it certainly paid off. Along side this emotion filled spectacle came action. The action was superb. Apes, on horses, with guns. Do I even need to say more, well yes I do actually. The action went much further than this, engaging many aspects. This is probably the film with the best action so far this year possibly bar The Raid 2. It is constant like the emotion but it never becomes senseless and always remains refreshing.
This film was simply a joy to watch, from the very beginning watching the whole group of Apes swing from the canopy of the trees to the final shot of Caesar embracing his family once more. Utterly stunning and left wide open for another film to hopefully add to what has been achieved here. They certainly have a job to try and top Dawn but if I am perfectly honest I don’t think they have to top it. This action packed, emotion driven piece of art is perfect to me and if anything similar to this can be produced I will be more than happy. If people gave standing ovations at the cinema I am in no doubt that the whole audience would have been on their feet.
Rating – 10/10