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home : features : reel watchers May 26, 2016

7/13/2014 6:00:00 AM
Regal Serkis helps carry 'Ape' sequel
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
F.W. Brock
Kingman Resident

While many summer sequels have fizzled, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" provides a strong plot line, sufficient action, and ingenious moral complexity that is sure to please fans.

The film takes place 10 years following a viral outbreak that has killed the majority of the human population. This same virus led to super intelligence in apes, the first of which, was a young ape named Caesar (Andy Serkis).

"Dawn" explores the moral complexities the apes face when a small band of humans stumble into their territory. After a decade of peace, Caesar is forced to decide whether to form an alliance with the humans who need his assistance or to maintain distance from them and ensure the safety of the apes. Misunderstanding consumes both apes and humans as fear erupts into violence.

A witty performance comes from Toby Kebbell who provides the movement and voice for Caesar's right-hand ape, Koba. Scarred both emotionally and physically after surviving life in a research lab, Koba has a valid disgust for humans. An excellent plot twist proves that Koba is a force to be reckoned with as paranoia of "human work" consumes him.

Andy Serkis returns as Caesar. Serkis, who also provided the movements and voice for Gollum in the "Lord of The Rings" trilogy, brings a confident and regal presence to the character.

The visual appeal of performance-capture technology has improved greatly since the previous film and gives the apes realistic skin texture, facial movements, and fur. While "Dawn" offers an impressive connection with the ape stars and a well-paced plot, those who have grown weary of blockbuster explosions and computer generated enhancements may not be impressed. The human characters are forgettable and these meat-eating apes seem to have little regard for fellow animals.

The effort is easily worth 4 out 5 Miners.

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