DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2014)

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Set ten years after the events of the previous film, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes sees a world in which the human population has been decimated by a virus, allowing the apes to thrive and develop towards being the dominant species on the planet.

With an entirely new cast, lead by Australian actor Jason Clarke, joined by the always delightful Keri Russell and the under-used Gary Oldman, the humans must breach into ape territory in order to restart a generator they require to restore electrical power to the city. Andy Serkis returns as Caesar, the leader of the apes, who must balance what is good for his family against the needs of the society of apes and the human survivors.

Directed by Matt Reeves, we have a different kind of movie than the previous, being more fast paced and with loads more action. Visually it’s an incredible film, mostly set within the now decaying city of San Francisco and its nearby forest area. Another wonderful music score by Michael Giacchino, this may well be his best since his early video game days.

The highlight of the movie is the development of the apes, the way they communicate with each other and the realising sense that there is not much different between man and age. The lessons are quite clear to be seen – there are good and bad apes, just like there are good and bad humans.

It’s a wonderful film, the eighth overall of the franchise, and perhaps the best since the original in 1968 starring Charlton Heston. Andy Serkis is once more brilliant, a pioneer of motion-capture acting and the leader of a new age … just like Caesar.

score: 8 out of 10.

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