Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is now upon us, bringing with it the best computer-generated enhancements this long-running franchise has ever seen. Sean tackled Cinema Blend's official review of the Matt Reeves tent pole that has Andy Serkis reprising his role as the smarter-than-the-average ape Caesar. But with a cinematic spectacle this big, it seemed the perfect time to further explore the response this adventure elicits with a GIF review.
What follows is a diary of my reactions (and overreactions) watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Be warned: SLIGHT SPOILERS LIE AHEAD!
Like many moviegoers, I grew up with Planet of The Apes movies. It was kind of unavoidable. Every few years, some cable channel would decide to marathon them all. And who can turn away from the strange appeal of Roddy McDowall's lovable monkey Cornelius?
Anyhow, with this deeply instilled love and nostalgia for Planet of The Apes movies past, I sat down for the latest installment, the Matt Reeves-directed Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes.
Reeves steps us through the requisite exposition quickly: Most of mankind has been wiped out by a Simian Flu. Caesar and his rebel apes have built a new society in the wilds of San Francisco. Apes are using tools, wearing war paint and battling bears.
The apes are multi-lingual. They speak grunt, broken English, and sign language. I should learn sign language. I mean, if CGI apes can learn it, how hard could it be?
The conflict between the apes Caesar and Koba is tense, and totally understandable. Caesar's seen the good side of humanity, Koba has only seen the bad. But the humans in this movie are so thinly written that I really don't care that mankind is doomed. Everytime one human is talking to another:
I have the brief thought that I can actually smell the wet, sweaty apes barreling about onscreen. Then I realize it's a very hot and sticky day in New York, and this is not Smell-o-Vision.
Tortured by men, Koba is their bloody comeuppance. He knows how to play their game--Oh holy shit!
Eh. More boring humans talking.
When we're not spending way too much time on these damned dirty humans, the ape drama is pretty great. Case and point: Caesar and Koba's final showdown.
All in all, Matt Reeves offers some cutting-edge tech to create believable and compelling ape characters. Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell and Nick Thurston project an incredible amount of meaning and emotion through their motion-captured performances. Unfortunately, the straight-up people in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are such a drag that they made this 130-minute movie more of a slog than a ride.
With my hopes not met, I feel like this lady, who anticipated a satisfying taco and tasted some greatness, but was left mostly bereft.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is now in theaters.