FILM REVIEW: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Steady lads!

BY OLU ALEMORU

For people – probably a tad to the right of Attila The Hun – who might like to turn San Francisco into a primeval wasteland where those smart, tech savvy, progressive humanoids are hunted down like wild cattle, the follow up to 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” should be very enjoyable.

This aside, the general movie going public are in for a stirring sci-fi action adventure drama that hints at a third film in this re-booted trilogy “where there will be blood.”

Ten years after the man-made “Ape” virus has wiped out most of the planet, the genetically mutated chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis) has led his Simian tribe to a somewhat peaceful existence in the dense forest beyond the Golden State Bridge.

Moreover, Caesar’s command of the English language has developed into an impressive Shakespearean growl.

In the opening minutes both that and his alpha domination of the tribe are witnessed when he leads them on a hunt for a deer, only to be confronted by a ferocious bear (is there any other kind), which is on the losing end of the contest.

Meanwhile, the relative peace is shattered by the introduction of Homo sapiens in the form of a band of human survivors who literally stumble into the apes’ path.

While their proto leader Malcolm (Jason Clarke) subsequently forms a strong bond with Caesar and his Simian comrades, back at the human post-apocalyptic survival compound in the city tacit head honcho Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) is itching to get revenge on the “animals” that spread the disease killing his wife and children.

The intensely simmering action is deftly handled by director Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”) working from a collaborative script from ‘Rise’ screenwriters/producers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and Mark Bomback (“Live Free or Die Hard”).

Thus, whereas the first film brilliantly set up the genetic mutation, the sequel plays as an insightful commentary on the dangers facing society if we succumb to our basic instincts.

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