Review: Dawn of The Planet of The Apes

July 22, 2014

Hello, and welcome to my second official blog post!

I consider this to be my first, however, as the previous one was a brief introduction. My blog is undergoing some aesthetic changes; I have to get the right theme and background perfect!

With all that aside, I am here to get down to the nitty-gritty, and give my first review- a movie!

What movie has sign language-ing apes, Pokémon references, and CGI so fantastic, I had to remind myself these apes were in fact not real?

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, of course!

Warning! Slight spoilers!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster Art - P 2013

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes was released on the 17th July 2014, in the United Kingdom (11th July for the US). I went to see it on Sunday, accompanied by my sister, and this is my review!

The main plot of this movie, is the humans want to access a dam, that happens to be in the ape's territory. The apes refuse, and the humans result to force. I thought this movie would play out like Avatar did, but not one bit was similar! (Okay, some bits, but Dawn is so much better)!

The movie sees Andy Serkis once again returning to his rightful role as Caesar, a super-genius ape now leader of a flourishing ape colony. Along with his second-in-command, Koba, and his third-in-command, Maurice, Caesar and his fellow apes live peacefully in the Muir Woods, in San Francisco.

New faces join the cast, such as Toby Kebbell portraying Koba, Nick Thurston portraying Blue Eyes, Caesar's oldest son. Doc Shaw portrays as Ash, and Judy Greer, as Cornelia, Caesar's mate.


The humans in this movie are Malcom, father to Alexander, and husband to Ellie. Dreyfus, leader of the remaining humans, is the co-antagonist in this movie (depending on how you look at it). They are played by Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Keri Russell, and Gary Oldman, respectively.

The movie begins right where 2011's Rise of The Planet of The Apes left off. Caesar and his colony are living in peace, when humans and apes meet for the first time in a decade. A vast majority of the human population of the world have died from the simian flu- first suffered by Franklin in Rise

A band of humans led by Malcom are told to leave the woods by Caesar, neither realising the two groups will have more interaction as the movie progresses. 

Earlier, I mentioned that Dreyfus is co-antagonist in this movie. The other is an ape- specifically, Koba.

Koba has a bitter history with humans, and does not trust them one bit. He betrays Caesar, and the rest of the apes, in a desperate bid to get rid of humans once and for all, despite Caesar's attempts at cooperation.

The Pokémon references in this movie were what made me chuckle in and out of the cinema.

The first I saw was when it was revealed that Rocket, an ape loyal to Caesar had a son called Ash! Suspicious, no?

The second one was when Koba was spying on the humans. He told two apes loyal to him, "Find the humans! Gotta catch them all!".

Was no one else giggling in their seat?!

Let's not forget the biggest Lion King reference. 

In true 'Scar-pushes-Mufasa-off-the-cliff-to-his-death-below' fashion, Caesar and Koba managed to pull this off superbly. Caesar clearly had another person (or chimp's) life in his hands. A general rule of thumb the colony has is "Ape not kill Ape". 

Did this rule apply to these two influential apes? Absolutely not!

Caesar knew what and he had to do and he did it! 

Personally, I think it's always good to see a protagonist break their own rule instead of follow it. It shows they have more depth, and are not just a  2D character who only adheres to the rules! We see the cogs working, and when they give 'the look', you know it's game over for the bad guy. Here, we see Caesar (although we know it already) has a lot of decisions to make about the welfare, safety and wellbeing of his colony. Koba wasn't contributing to their way of life. Sorry, gotta go!

The humans in this movie were also engaging. All of them had a personal story associated with them- mainly being about the loss of a loved one due to the simian flu. However, I found whenever human clips were shown, I just wanted to see how the apes were getting along! 

Emotions (for me anyway) were so high, I nearly found myself in tears! Yes, literal tears!

The most heart-pulling moment was when Koba straight up shot Caesar, to 'death'. I found I couldn't deal with the early loss of such a brilliant character, and neither did my tear ducts!

The end was also emotion-filled. 

The bonding of Cornelia, Caesar, Blue Eyes and his baby brother, is so moving! You see all the apes look to Caesar for guidance, as a new dawn breaks over San Francisco. (Get it, Dawn!)

I especially enjoyed the brilliant CGI. In the very beginning of the movie, the apes were hunting in the rainy woods. You could see every rain drop on their fur, every wrinkle embedded deeply into their faces, every tear shed by the characters. The CGI was boasted even further, when we were treated to a zooming in, into Caesar's face. The wrinkles were so fine, and perfectly placed! What's better is that his 'Green Eyes' nickname is still applicable, as his eyes are a great shade of green!

I enjoyed it when the apes spoke. In the previous movie, Caesar's scene with Tom Felton (no word of a lie I was about to type Draco Malfoy), was so shocking and surprising to me, I had to YouTube it several times! In this movie, a majority of the apes speak, which is amazing! My favourite moment was when things started turning sour for the humans, and Maurice turned to them and simply said "Run". I can still remember that voice!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! It depicts the fall of mankind, and how easily we can let ourselves wander into the wrong paths. Remember, Apes Together Strong!

All the characters, whether they're ape or human had depth and purpose. Many people feel they had no clue what Gary Oldman was even doing, but remember to always think from the character's point of view!

What I want to see in the third instalment is exactly what I saw in the first and second! Director Matt Reeves knows exactly what he's doing and he should keep doing it. Since the military were contacted, I expect nothing less than explosions and gunfights reigning over every scene. My one wish is that Maurice survives. Was anyone else rooting for him the entire movie?! I know I was!

While James Franco did not have an appearance in this movie, he did have a two minute (literally!) cameo. I think (hope!) he may have survived the simian flu. Freida Pinto? Unfortunately, I think not!

There we have it! 

My very first movie review!

I hope you enjoy my take on it. Please leave a comment of any movie you would like me to review next and I will try to make it happen!

Thanks again, and I'll see you in the next one!

~Lenny Likes to Blog~

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  1. Replies
    1. I'll do Mockingjay when it comes out! And I was thinking of either TFIOS or Diveregent next...


Thanks for checking out this post!