I for one welcome our new simian overlords!
The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is out in the UK a week today. Here’s the trailer:
And her are some of the reasons I can’t wait for it:
1. Because Rise of the Planet of the Apes was so great
Like seriously, it was probably the best blockbuster since the Dark Knight. It had some huge themes like scientific hubris, the relations between man and nature, and even the nature of humanity. However, it looked at them in a very personal way. It is was essentially the story of the friendship between a scientist played by James Franco and an intelligent ape he creates called Caesar. It’s by turns touching and heart-wrenching, playful and serious, and while its finale might be an epic action scene on the Golden Gate Bridge, unlike a lot of blockbusters it’s more about plot and character than stuff blowing up.
2. Because Andy Serkis is in the lead
Part of what made the Rise so great was Andy Serkis’ performance as Caesar.
The master of motion capture might be making a career out of particularly niche work but by any measure he has to be one of the best actors working in big budget films. In the sea of blandness and boredom that is the Lord of the Rings films, his portrayal of Gollum is a strikingly complex and engaging island of watchability.
I’m fascinated to see where he takes Caesar in the next of installment.
3. Because the reviews have been fantastic
The kind of nerdy websites I read have loved this:
IGN has said it is:
the kind of movie that reminds me why I love movies in the first place — and more specifically, why I love sci-fi movies. Smart, emotionally deep, exciting, beautiful to behold, and culturally relevant, Dawn is quite simply a great film.
Den of the Geeks said:
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not just a superior successor to Rise, but in terms of sheer quality filmmaking, storytelling, character-building, and thematic depth, it is probably only bested by the classic 1968 original. Not only that, but Reeves (working from a script by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Mark Bomback) has made a great science fiction film, period, and one of the best genre offerings of any kind in 2014. Dawn is rich, gripping, frightening and ultimately moving, with a thoughtful, melancholy tone that has been the hallmark of this series at its very best.
And it is not just them: it currently has a 98% rating on rotten tomatoes!
4. Because these short films inspired by it are pretty impressive
The studio has released three short films that fill in parts of the story between the Rise and the Dawn. And frankly if the film is as good as these are I’ll be delighted!
5. Because it’s not Transformers
In my review of Edge of Tomorrow, I’ve already lamented the success of Michael Bay’s latest monstrosity ($600 million and counting). And I’ll probably keep on doing so. But films like Edge of Tomorrow and Rise of the Planet of the Apes are good examples of why sci fi is the probably the best genre of films there is. And it looks like the Dawn may be another one.