DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES movie review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Da'Mon Guy brings us his review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Dawn of the planet of the apes is an absorbing, well-crafted epic that creatively continues the reinvention of one of the great film franchises in cinematic history. This is the next chapter in the modern retelling of The Planet of the Apes that chronicles the continued maturation of ape messiah, Caesar. The movie is an exciting convergence of story and action that is used to express an incredibly strong theme about the things that all sentient beings value, family and future. The movie stars Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Gary Oldman (Robocop 2014), Keri Russell (Dark Skies), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), Jason Clarke (Lawless), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans), Judy Greer (Carrie 2013) and Jon Eyez (Looper).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the second movie in the modern reboot of the franchise, serves as another prequel to the classic 1968 film, Planet of the Apes.  Overall, it is the 8th movie in the long running franchise and the highly anticipated follow up to the surprise hit of 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. “Dawn” is well crafted and very meticulous. It aptly complements the predecessor and the 1968 version nearly perfectly, and fits right into the “Apes” franchise like the missing piece to a puzzle. It showcases one of the more humanizing tales through the use of a highly creative sci-fi premise. The story picks up ten years after the events of the first movie. “Dawn” connects the dots with a great montage to open the film that begins right where the first one left off, explaining the post credits scenes. It then gives a great explanation of the time between the two and continues to delve into the story of how the Apes became the dominant species on Earth. This engrossing extravaganza shows how Caesar has grown into the perfect leader for his people. He has matured beyond the revolutionary who broke the chains of the bondage of mankind to find peace and family. Whereas “Rise” was the start of Caesar’s life and more of a coming of age story, “Dawn” is the next phase of life, adulthood.

Much like its predecessor, “Dawn” manages to incorporate a number of subtle nuances that connect this one to the other films. Caesar’s oldest son named "Blue eyes" and his wife Cornelia are two small connections that are creatively embedded in the movie so the more hardcore, devout fans will have a greater appreciation of the movie. "Dawn" has a far darker tone than “Rise.” Whereas “Rise” used role reversal to give you a better understanding and appreciation of the apes, Dawn shows that the humans aren’t the only species with dark intentions. In Dawn, you get to see both sides of the two factions, how both the humans and the apes are driven by the same motivations, but different approaches to them. The director does an exquisite job at balancing screen time as well as showing how in spite of being different species, there are the same issues of hatred, mistrust, and even prejudice to a degree. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a tale of emancipation and liberation. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the next logical step in that evolution. It’s a story about maturity, a story about family, and future. "Dawn" really focuses on what it means for both species and gives a great perspective on the new world that they both share. We see the Apes who are now developing their own culture and the world of man trying to recover his.

The film is visually stunning and features some of the best usage of cinematography that you will ever see. The CGI is smooth and breathtaking. Every scene in the movie absorbs you deeper and deeper into this post-apocalyptic world that the apes now live in. The Apes never looked so good. It’s really amazing how far the films have come since the original. The CGI is some of the best that you’ll ever see. It’s hard to believe that Caesar and his simian companions aren’t real.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes reunited us with nearly all of the apes that were freed in “Rise.” Dawn also exquisitely forges the story around them as it shows us they have evolved into a community and family. This is still very much Caesar’s movie but Maurice, Rocket, and Koba, each return and all have a more prominent role in the new film. Toby Kebbel, in particular as Koba, matches Andy Serkis performance of Caesar in every way.#

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best film of this summer. It’s nearly flawless, and the perfect sequel. The movie is fantastic from beginning to end. The 1968 version of Planet of the Apes is considered one of the great films in science fiction. None of the subsequent movies that followed in the 70’s were ever close to its lofty bar that it created. It now has two more films that are worthy sequels, in some ways, arguably better.

"Dawn" had a number of expectations to meet, and exceeds them all. It’s arguably one of the best sequels to a film ever made. If you haven’t seen it by now then make it your next film to see at the theater. GO SEE IT NOW!

Da’Mon Guy is a writer and artist. He’s a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011, for a number of publications inc The Baltimore Afro, Move, Raise Up, and Westside News. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.

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