Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

Shadow’s Rating: 9/10– Even better than the first movie and a bit different than you might expect.

Shadow’s Theater Rating: 9/10
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: 9/10

Worth: Theater ($14) + Blu Ray ($18) = $32

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 91%, 8/10
Audience: 93%, 9/10

4 Other Reviews:
ScreenRant 4.5/5
SchmoesKnows 5/5
Grantland
DanTheMan 8.5/10 

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Plot in a Nutshell: Caesar is leading his “tribe” of apes out in the forest in perfect peace and harmony. And then some humans show up. And show up again. Koba is not happy about this. Perfect peace and harmony go away because of apes and humans. Oh and … APES ON HORSES.

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Spoiler Free Thoughts…

– The mo-cap performances are just as good as everyone has said. This technology is really amazing. You really don’t think of any of the apes as “cgi…” you just see the as actors. Truly awesome.

– In particular, the performances of Koba and Caesar are award winning awesome stuff. Speaking of Caesar and Koba, all of their actions seem justified. You feel bad for Koba for a long time until he makes the inevitable full villain turn. Both of them have solid points throughout the film until shit hits the fan. I thought Caesar was too forgiving at times and that he was a bit too stubborn about humans. And Koba was the exact opposite. So it made for some nice interactions and a great story.

– And don’t get it twisted: this movie is really about Caesar and Koba. The humans are in the movie as pawns for that story line.

– The human actors were adequate. I found all of their motivations to be on point and nothing ridiculous. Even Oldman, who is easily supposed to be the “human bad guy” came across was understandable. There was no mustache twirling, black and white, evil, bad guy in this movie.

– I found the story line engaging all the way through. Kept me on the edge of my seat for the first minute to the very last. The movie takes some interesting twists and turns throughout. It isn’t as straightforward as it seems in the trailers really.

– The action was probably the weakest part of the movie, which speaks more on how strong the story was more so on the action lacking. The big, ape vs human set piece was a little bit of a let down IMO. Seemed to go by faster than I would of liked and wasn’t quite as cool as I was hoping. I did love the climax at the end however. ]

– Overall, this is the best movie of the summer and probably in the top 3 overall right now this year. A must see for sure, especially if you enjoyed Rise.

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Spoiler Filled Thoughts after the Jump…

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– I LOVED the ending. As in, Caesar is smart enough to know that shit has hit the fan and humans won’t simply go, “oh ok, it was just one bad ape, we can live together now with no issues!” Humans are vindictive fucks and they would come in guns blaring. Sucks to be the good human character though. He was fucked no matter what. He should just ask to live with the apes (serious).

– The Koba/Caesar fight at the end was awesome. Great strategy by Caesar, considering he was the weaker ape.

– All of Koba’s motivations were at least partially understandable until he first got his ass beat. Then, after that, he went straight villain.

– I wanted to see a little more how the different apes functioned in society. We really didn’t get to see any of the Gorillas speak or do anything useful. And ditto for most of the Orangutans.

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