Tuesday, July 15, 2014


A few minor quibbles aside, I think Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is fully deserving of the mostly great positive reviews it has received so far. I was a little worried that 2011's much better than expected Rise of the Planet of the Apes was going to be a one-off fluke, especially since director Rupert Wyatt wasn't returning, but incoming director Matt Reeves - along with returning screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver - has crafted what I think is a superior sequel, filled with terrific action, spectacle, drama and genuine emotional conflict. Koba - as played superbly by Toby Kebbell in motion capture - is probably the most frightening ape in the history of the series, and provides some moments of real tension and fear. And I loved how Michael Giacchino’s score had moments that reflected Jerry Goldsmith’s classic 1968 soundtrack (particularly in the sequence where the apes first make their way into San Francisco).

Dawn is one of the all-too-rare sequels that not only tops an already-excellent film, but expands on the concept and scope immeasurably, in much the same way as The Dark Knight did after Batman Begins. Nothing will ever top the classic concept, look and feel or the original film series - they were what I grew-up with and were instrumental in me developing a love of genre cinema - but I'm impressed and pretty happy with the way the Apes saga has been successfully re-imagined for a new generation, while still being able to stay respectful to its roots and satisfy so many of the original fans.

Already excited by the prospect of where this series will head next...