BY Warren and Kat Maneja
Set 10 years after the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the evolved apes have grown in number as the simian flu decimates earth’s human population. In the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the apes come into contact with a pocket of human survivors and have an uneasy truce between them. But events spiral out of control as man and ape are pitted against each other for survival and there’s only room for one at the top of the food chain…
After going through the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I was admittedly left with mixed feelings. I mean, as a human being a part of me was rooting for the human survivors to eventually come out on top due to the convincing performances of Malcolm (Jason Clarke), the human colony representative who desperately wanted to balance the truce between man and ape, and Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), leader of the colony who desperately wanted to scavenge whatever is left that resembles life before the simian flu. (I’m liberally using the word desperately here because, well, that’s how the movie portrayed the human survivors: desperate.) And who wouldn’t be?! Mankind’s population has been decimated, society as we know it has crumbled, and at your door is a massive number of pissed-off, organized, thinking simians ready to wage war against you (Did I mention they also have guns?).
On the other hand, one can easily relate to Caesar and the rest of his tribe who all just wanted to be left alone in peace until the complications with the human colony arose. Caesar (Andy Serkis) showed the conflicting emotions of being human as he was torn between protecting his family from the consequences of war against the human colony and trying to help the latter at surviving. The CGI special effects as well as puppeteering were spot-on (The baby ape was sooooo adorable!) and the brooding facial reactions of Caesar coupled with the well-orchestrated soundtrack of the film added to the emotion needed by the viewer to be left with nothing else but to feel for Caesar (Though honestly, I missed the cunning and tactical shrewdness that Caesar showed in the previous film.).
Overall, dealing with the timeless questions of equality, intelligence and warfare, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not just a source of thrilling entertainment inside the theater–you’d also likely talk about it even after the movie.
You can also watch these short films which document what happens during the 10 years between “Rise” and “Dawn”:
Spread of Simian Flu
Struggling to Survive
Story of the Gun
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, distributed by 20th Century Fox, opens in Philippine cinemas July 9, 2014. (In 2D, 3D, and 4DX format)