Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Not rated yet!
Director
Matt Reeves
Runtime
2 h 10 min
Release Date
26 June 2014
Genres
Science Fiction, Action, Drama, Thriller
Overview
A group of scientists in San Francisco struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that is wiping out humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.
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  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    [1]1,237 words

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the second movie in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, establishes this as a superior franchise inviting comparisons with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy [2].

    The movie begins exactly where Rise of the Planet of the Apes [3] left off, with a tracker plotting flights around the globe showing the spread of “simian flu.” An accompanying news montage informs us that ten years have passed since the outbreak began and that almost all humans have been wiped out. The apes, who at the end of Rise had crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and founded a new order in the forest, have now established a settled community.

    On the other side of the bridge a group of human survivors, who appear to be immune to the virus, have created a makeshift but well-armed fortress. When a small group of these survivors unwittingly trespasses into the ape territory intending to restart a hydroelectric dam, the stage is set for a fascinating examination of how two neighboring, but utterly distinct communities, might relate to each other.

    One interesting contrast between the two communities (leaving aside the fact that they are different species) is that the apes are a newly founded, tribal community, based on principles of in-group loyalty and highly hierarchical. The humans are the last remaining remnants, on the point of extinction, and desperately seeking a source of electricity without which they cannot survive. Thus the apes are strong and autonomous whilst the humans are desperate and dependent. Both groups, however, are small communities who cannot afford to sustain significant casualties. This means that both humans and apes are depicted in a defensive mode, and the movie explores different responses to the need for self-defense.

    As the action develops, it becomes clear that the majority on both sides are rather belligerent and see attack as the best form of defense. But Caesar, the leader of the apes, develops a relationship of trust with Malcolm, a member of the original human scouting party, and he allows the humans access to the dam. Malcolm similarly advocates for restraint among the humans and it is his influence that convinces Dreyfus, the leader of the human survivors, not to use their considerable weaponry to immediately wipe out all of the apes. This tentative truce is shown to be extremely fragile, and the tension in the movie derives from the inevitable, but unbearable, inevitability of its unfolding.

    Caesar’s rival is Koba, an ape whose experience as a subject of vivisection has given him a lifelong and justified antipathy towards humanity. Koba resents Caesar’s alliance with the humans and challenges his position as alpha male. When his challenge is unsuccessful he resorts to more nefarious means and introduces the apes to the humans’ arsenal of weapons. Apes had previously had an abhorrence of guns and living an isolated existence had not needed to consider how to defend themselves against armed outsiders. The irony is that Koba’s high sense of in-group belonging leads him to adopt the superior technology of the out-group humans; by trying to remain ape he becomes more like a human.

    I read this as a subtle comment on the impossibility of retaining a separated, traditional community in an age of technology. The apes live a self-contained, balanced, and peaceful existence but unfortunately for them their land happens to contain a resource valued highly by invading Americans. There are many, many humans around the world who would look on the apes’ plight with a great deal of empathy.

    In Rise the symbol of the fasces was used to demonstrate the maxim that a single ape is weak but apes together are strong. In Dawn the overt fascist/Roman Imperial imagery has been toned down and distilled into the apes’ central credo: ape not kill ape. This more sanitised message is also in keeping with the apparent moral of the movie, which seems to indicate the truth (platitude) that there are good people in out-groups and bad people in in-groups. But in many ways, this overt moralizing is undercut by the logic of the movie itself.

    For one thing, it is not at all clear that the doves on both sides have actually acted to protect their respective communities in the most effective way. Dreyfus’ original impulse was to wipe out all of the apes using the humans’ extensive weaponry. He makes a speech to the survivors, whipping up their antipathy to the apes and appealing to the shared suffering the community has undergone over the preceding years; classic appeals to in-group loyalty. It is Malcolm’s influence that persuades Dreyfus to allow a more peaceful approach. By the end of the movie it’s clear that this approach has led to many human deaths, however inadvertently. Malcolm’s and Caesar’s humanitarian diplomacy might be foregrounded as the most reasonable position to take in the movie, being a more rational and intelligent response to a new threat, but the movie does not pretend that it brings about a peaceful solution. The movie ends with a larger war between ape and human imminent, and Malcolm and Caesar both have to retreat back to their own sides.

    Because the movie is so concerned with issues around in-group loyalty it is tempting to read it in a racial context, and I’m sure that some will do so. For me this is not the most interesting way to think about it because the apes and humans mirror each other in so many ways, even to the extent that they can both be seen as multicultural, the humans in an obvious sense and the apes due to the different simian sub-species who have banded together.

    For me the most interesting way to read the conflict between man and ape was to see one group as a dying, late civilization, utterly dependent on technology, and the other as a newly emerging culture, reliant on physical strength and hierarchy. Both sides have particular vulnerabilities but there is no doubt which side history favors.

    In its depiction of a technologically dependent humanity, decimated by a lethal virus, and struggling to adapt to harsher conditions, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes seems to have taken inspiration from the 1970s British TV series, Survivors. Survivors (which really demands an essay of its own) showed in relentless detail just how much we take the functioning of the modern state and economy for granted. Much of the series showed people coming to terms with how inept they were when there were no shops full of food and other goods. None of us is well equipped to begin from scratch, and Survivors gave an unflattering portrait of our dependency on state and commercial functions. It also managed to question whether its characters’ need to re-establish communities and get society functioning again was actually a desirable goal, or whether, in contrast, the collapse of society was a liberation. Dawn echoes Survivors in many ways, even to the extent that the last series of Survivors ended with a hydroelectric dam being brought back into use.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has taken the Christopher Nolan approach to blockbuster film making by embedding ambiguity and complexity into its otherwise very entertaining narrative. As the sickly, dying race of humans gives way to the new order of virile ape warriors I look forward to the next installment where, perhaps, the apes will discover their numen.

     

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    (Review Source)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    1,504 words [1]

    War for the Planet of the Apes is the third film of the rebooted series and one of the best. With its austere visual palette and dark tonal mood it could so easily have been a flawless masterpiece. Unfortunately, a couple of trivial missteps get in the way of its overall quality and undermine the film’s otherwise brutal solemnity.

    War begins 15 years after the simian flu outbreak that wiped out much of the human species. Caesar still rules his fledgling nation but, as shown at the end of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a military battalion has been dispatched to eliminate the apes. Things go badly wrong, though, when Woody Harrelson’s trigger-happy, “Mistah Kurtz”-like, commander fails to assassinate Caesar and instead causes some unfortunate collateral damage. Caesar, now drawn into a grim blood feud, sets out to kill the commander whilst his ape community searches for a new home.

    Caesar is joined by a few of his most loyal followers and is drawn to the edge of a very dark place as he becomes consumed with an obsessive need for revenge. In the previous film, the ape Koba became a rival leader to Caesar but he was too atavistically violent and dogmatic to prevail. Caesar had a greater sense of pragmatism and political nuance, but throughout War for the Planet of the Apes he has to confront his primal drive to absolute violence with which he has now become possessed. Koba reappears in this film, a ghostly hallucination urging Caesar to follow his urge to vengeance like some devil on his shoulder.

    The film compellingly charts Caesar’s journey to the heart of darkness and displays its Apocalypse Now influences with pride. Along the way, the first misstep occurs as Caesar and his retinue pick up a new follower known as Bad Ape. Bad Ape learned his name from humans when he was in captivity, but for some reason he is played as a slapstick tomfool. Some reviewers have commented that Bad Ape provides some much needed levity to lighten the tone of the film but, for me, his presence is an unnecessary concession to the summer blockbuster market and unfortunately undercuts the otherwise dark tone that the film employs. If I didn’t make a point of never being cruel to animals, I might choose to compare Bad Ape to Jar Jar Binks.

    The second misstep concerns the characterization of the commander. When Caesar sets out on his revenge mission he learns that the commander is based near a border but he doesn’t know exactly where it is. When he meets Bad Ape he finds out that Bad Ape knows the location of the border and so they are able to track down the commander. Upon finding his base, Caesar is horrified to learn that the commander has imprisoned Caesar’s ape community whom Caesar had earlier left, and that he is forcing them to build a wall. For some inexplicable reason the commander will not allow the enslaved apes any food or water. Now, the problem here is that the references to Trump are clumsy and overblown. The rogue battalion that the commander is leading are called Alpha-Omega and they are depicted as being an almost cultish, right wing militia. In itself, this would work perfectly well in terms of the ongoing Apes story-line, and it must have been an established part of the script well before Trump became the Republican nominee last year. But the heavy signalling of the Trump parallels suggests that the film makers underestimate the material with which they are working. War for the Planet of the Apes is at heart a better film than this clumsy referencing implies.

    It’s also a better and deeper film than some leftist critics are willing to admit. In fact, the anti-Trump signalling may have been added into the film partly to deflect some of the accusations of racism that the franchise has attracted. The Apes franchise has suffered from these accusations because it attempts to depict an oppressed and exploited group, and to tell a story of their liberation. The problem is that in reading the film in those terms it is necessary to treat the apes as a metaphor for oppressed races, which is a sort of amusing irony. Certainly, the films fail to act as an anti-racist fable at this most basic level because they are only able to critique vulgar racism if you are willing to accept the vulgarly racist identification of non-whites with apes. So, at this level, the leftist critics are correct that the Apes films do not succeed as an anti-racist metaphor. But I’m not interested in watching PC propaganda so this level of the film doesn’t really interest me at all.

    What is far more worthy of consideration is that the films are concerned with the emergence of a completely new grouping within the context of a dominant, but dying, group. When viewed from a Spenglerian perspective, the Apes films become a ready metaphor for the emergence of a new Culture from the ashes of a spent Civilization. As I noted in my review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the apes initially encounter a defining moment of symbolic understanding when Caesar uses the symbol of the fasces to explain how apes – together – are strong. This was the moment when the apes began to perceive themselves as a community rather than as a collection of individuals. In other words, it was the birth of a nation. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the in-group identification becomes stronger as the ethical imperative “ape not kill ape” emerges as the first commandment.

    In War, the commander’s rogue unit is a sort of dark mirror to the ape community. Both are predicated on fascist principles but within each group those principles play out in very different ways. The apes are a youthful, healthy, tribal community wherein differences are sorted out face to face with violence between those directly involved. Conversely, in the commander’s unit an abstract military principle holds sway, the unit itself being but one element of a larger industrialized army (i.e., the remnants of the US army). The commander’s reversion to fascism is a response to the sickness that has overtaken the human world. If you remember, the simian flu was caused by a side effect of a drug that was developed to cure Alzheimer’s. The commander is responding in a rational way to a crisis of senility and disease, but his response can only ever be a reactionary one because the world to which he belongs is utterly spent; he can only mimic the healthy aspects of fascism. In this sense, the analogy with Trump is a sound one because Trump’s success is a semi-nationalist backlash against the enervation of the West. What would have been far better from an artistic point of view is if the film had allowed the analogy to remain at something of a buried level. Instead, the audience is explicitly told that the commander is building a wall at the border.

    As the film reaches its highly enjoyable conclusion, there is another asymmetrical reflection that again emphasizes the difference between the two communities. A number of apes have turned traitor and now work for the humans, despite their low-caste status within the human grouping. During the final battle when Caesar is wounded by one of the soldiers, one of the turncoat apes, Red, reverts back to his blood loyalty and kills Caesar’s attacker. Red is then himself killed but by this final act of loyalty he has remembered the first commandment, ape not kill ape, and redeemed himself. Eventually, when Caesar confronts the commander for the final showdown, we learn that a new strain of simian flu has emerged and is now infecting those humans who were resistant to the original strain. The initial symptom of infection is muteness. It transpires that the commander’s son had earlier become mute and so the commander had been forced to kill him. The contrast between Red’s reversion to blood loyalty and in-group ethics, and the commander’s infanticide is the contrast between a youthful, healthy society poised to inherit the earth and an unwell, dying society declining into historical silence.

    War for the Planet of the Apes is a fitting end to a very impressive reboot. Viewed together, the three Apes films must be one of the most impressive trilogies in cinema history. Certainly, this rebooted series has a far greater consistency than the original series of Apes films. And War for the Planet of the Apes, in particular, is a better film than even its makers seem to realize. It asks some very important civilizational questions about where we should go from here. Specifically, the film seems to ask, should we revert to an authoritarian, tired form of fascism to prop up a dying civilization; or should we embrace a youthful and mobile form of fascism to create something new? The choice we make might have aeonic consequences.

     

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    (Review Source)
  • Apes, Together, STRONG!
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]866 words

    I’m a big fan of the seventh art, so the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [2] premiere was mandatory for me.

    Although my favorite version of the saga is the one with Charlton Heston, the new movies are excellent, and the most recent one in particular reminded me of Jack Donovan’s book The Way of Men [3]. Thus this is less a review than a set of notes comparing aspects of the film with the ideas developed in The Way of Men.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is about survival. Both males and females are important to survival. Males are responsable for hunting and protecting the perimeter of the tribe. Females are responsable for nuturing the young and gathering. It is an organic community led by an alpha male.

    (I will ignore the “demonization” of bonobos since I am not a liberal nor a feminist, so this controversy [4] is completely irrelevant to me. In this essay, both chimpanzees and bonobos will be treated just as chimps.)

    The movie is set after the social and economic collapse of western civilization due to a virus which has killed most of humanity. Nature has reclaimed its place, its role, its throne, and, in San Francisco, humankind is now just a little colony of those who are immune to the virus.

    But there is also an ape community. It is a diverse community — there are not only chimps, but also gorillas, bonobos, orangutans — ruled by male chimps using their strength and organizational skills.

    Although their community is diverse, the diversity is handled in a politically incorrect fashion: they have a caste society. Gorillas are in charge of the borders. The orangutans, led by Maurice, are the Brahmin caste, in charge of teaching reading and writing to the community. And chimpanzees are the rulers, warriors, and hunters – the Kshatriya caste.

    The first job of men has always been to keep the perimeter, to face danger, to hunt and fight. (The Way of Men, p. 94)

    They hunt for meat, they kill for meat, they eat meat. They wear war-paint on their faces in order to scare their prey. They also share the rituals of hunting and fighting, with scars, spears, and blood.

    When Blue Eyes (Caesar’s son) is wounded by a bear, Koba (or Caesar, I don’t remember which) tells him “Scars make you strong.”

     . . . to put it in the words of Tyler Durden, “How much can you know about yourself, [if] you’ve never been in a fight?” Modern men are not merely lacking initiation into manhood . . . they are lacking meaningful trials of strength and courage. (p. 136)

    Blue Eyes did not like his scar, but even though he was defeated by the bear, at that moment he was recognized as a member of the gang, a true hunter, bearer of a scar.

    The community is peaceful, discharging brutality and aggression through hunting. The peace inside the community is secured by the strength and might of its Alpha Male – Caesar, the most intelligent chimp. Koba is violent and brutal, perhaps even more than Caesar, but Koba lacks the intelligence and perspective that mark Caesar. This quality makes Caesar stronger than any ape: he understands the form and function of the community, and he leaves aside his own interests to give the community what it needs.

    When Blue Eyes and Ash (Rocket’s son) have an encounter with a human, Ash is wounded. So Caesar is pushed by the community to demonstrate their strength. The apes do not want war, but they will fight to defend their home.

    In a survival band, it is tactically advantageous to maintain a reputation for being strong, courageous and masterful as a group. (p. 58)

    Although humanity has been reduced to the absolute basics, human beings are still concerned with useless things, looking to rebuild their former world of comforts and urban vices. The apes, by contrast, have been strengthened by simplicity: they hunt and kill for meat, and they have achieved a peaceful life by fighting against nature.

    Before you can have church and philosophy, you need to be able to survive. You need to triumph over nature and other men. (p. 48)

    In its culture of us vs. them (p. 110), the community has created a perimeter and has established security. We see the triumph of “demonic males” over the “bonobo masturbation society,” i.e., the remnants of human civilization who are in conflict with their own animal natures. The apes, however, focus on living with nature, and by triumphing over nature, apes are triumphing over themselves with the help of nature.

    Gangs of men with separate identities and interests of their own are always a threat to established interests. (p. 80)

    Why did the ape community fail? Egotism, selfishness, putting individual interests over the interests of the community. Koba was motivated by hatred and resentment, putting his violence in the service of his own interests and passions instead of the gang, instead of the community. Finally, the community triumphs over its own faults. However, there is no peace in the future, but war. And what about humanity?

    Humanity needs to go into a Dark Age for a few hundred years and think about what it’s done. (p. 142)

     

     

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    (Review Source)

Ica Reviews1
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  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ****1/2


    Here is a worthy addition to the venerable Apes franchise. Like the original Heston classic, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is by turns poignant, thought-provoking, and unintentionally humorous in telling the tragic story of what befalls humanity in the wake of its decimation by a simian flu and the resulting collapse of civilization.

    What little remains of Bay Area humanity lives together in downtown San Francisco, led by capable ex-soldier Dreyfus (Gary Oldman). The civilizationally ascendant apes, led by intelligent chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis), inhabit the forest surrounding the city, unaware that humans have survived the plague.

    When a chance encounter and death bring the two mutually resentful species into conflict, members of both groups believe their continued existence is at risk. At stake in this exciting installment of the franchise is whether peace is possible or full-scale war between the two tribes is an inevitability.

    4.5 stars.

    [WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

    Ideological Content Analysis indicates that the symbolism or subtextual resonance of the ape/human relationship in Dawn is variable, changing in meaning from scene to scene, so that a single comprehensive interpretation is impossible. Anecdotal analysis follows, however, yielding the following diagnoses:

    4. Multiculturalist. All races live together in harmony in progressive post-collapse San Francisco. The diverse makeup of the human element, including blacks, softens the association that racially insensitive viewers are likely to draw between apes and blacks. That parallel is exploited, however (see no. 3), and the abstract sense that the apes are akin to the teeming anthropoid scatology constituting the world outside the West – and, increasingly, the West itself – is also unavoidable. (cf. no. 1)

    3. Anti-gun. With the planet essentially set back to zero, the original sin that disrupts this new potential Eden is not the eating of fruit, but the bearing of arms. Carver (Kirk Acevedo), a character who bears a suspicious resemblance to George Zimmerman and who, given his Anglo name, is presumably supposed to be some kind of “white Hispanic”, sets the plot in motion when he panics and shoots a (no doubt angelic) chimp in the forest. Apes, at first hopeful of peaceful relations, confiscate and destroy a few of the humans’ guns. Carver later disobeys Caesar’s terms of cooperation by sneaking a gun into ape territory, putting a baby chimp in danger and alerting emotionally susceptible moviegoers that the guns in their homes are a multitude of dead baby tragedies waiting to happen.

    2. Green. It is man’s energy dependency which brings him into conflict – in this case, with apes – when Dreyfus determines to get a power plant operating again. No alternative energy is available, view...

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    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff1
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 5 Blockbuster Franchises That Should Learn from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a darkly thrilling second episode of version 3.0 of the Planet of the Apes saga, a brooding tale about a desperate band of humans who survived a catastrophic plague. They live near a band of wary forest apes who just want to be left alone but are skilled with weapons and are harboring a bad-tempered would-be leader who is itching to start a war. Thanks to excellent special effects, a suspenseful storyline and bold, frightening action scenes, a 46-year-old series is now as fresh as if it had been dreamed up yesterday.Here’s what some of the less successful blockbuster franchises that have overstayed their welcome could learn by waking up to Dawn. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/7/11/5-blockbuster-franchises-that-should-learn-from-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes/ previous Page 1 of 6 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    DramaAction/AdventureSci-Fi/FantasyWar We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewIt's been 10 years since Caesar and his throng of smart apes broke free from the test facility and ran for cover in the dense forests outside of San Francisco. Ten weary winters have passed since an unstoppable virus swept through humanity and left only small groups of the genetically immune alive. And in this now grossly underpopulated world, both men and apes have pretty much forgotten about each other. Caesar and his enlightened charges are building a peaceful community. They're using sign language, raising families, enjoying homes, hoping for the future. And as far as the deadly things that came before, this super-smart simian is determined to see an end to all that. "Ape Not Kill Ape" is scrawled on the classroom chalkboard for all the young ones to see. At the same time the regrouping humans have gathered tools, medicines, food supplies—everything they can find in an attempt to get back to where they were before the horror started. Back to normal. That calm on both sides, however, is now shattered by the booming concussion of a gunshot. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Malcolm and his small group of human cohorts were simply hoping to reactivate a nearby dam and restore power to the city. But they accidentally wander into Caesar's domain. An interspecies encounter results in an itchy trigger finger and a wounded ape. Turns out the gunpowder in a single bullet has the power to blow up the whole world. And though Caesar and Malcolm both want to maintain peace and reason, a rising tide of anger and mistrust between the two groups may lead to an inevitable test of wills.Positive ElementsThe film makes clear, through Caesar and Malcolm's actions, that turning from wrath and finding common ground is the only wise choice when dealing with conflict. Even though man and beast clash for a time, they ultimately end up fighting for and sacrificing for each other as friends. In fact, several human-ape friendships demonstrate that individuals from totally different walks of life can care about and learn from one another. Malcolm's son Alexander, for instance, forms a bond with an orangutan teacher and they share a book. Ellie, Malcolm's physician wife, works to save the lives of both Caesar and his mate. Caesar repeatedly stresses that the only way to find a fulfilling and happy future is to turn from conflict and focus on building a family and a loving home—something he strives to do with his own mate and two little ones. That sentiment is reinforced when Caesar finds an old video of his deceased human friend Will who embraces him as a young ape and welcomes him into his home.Spiritual ContentBeyond the underlying issue of wonky evolutionary development that the film can't help but dust off, there's a sense here of man's (and, in this case, apes' as well) fallen nature. Evil is real, even in the midst of those striving for a higher good.Sexual ContentMalcolm and his wife kiss.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentThis movie's trailers trumpet the big battle scenes where apes ride in on horseback with spears and blazing guns. And that clash is indeed the core of the story. Both sides of the man-ape equation fear for their survival and rage at each other with explosive might. The results are only sometimes bloody but nearly always intense and perilous. Caesar is shot and the ape village set on fire as a way to push the whole community toward war. And once that battle breaks out, RPGs and automatic weaponry destroy buildings, landscapes, men and apes alike. A score of apes are crushed by a bus as it rolls over. And many more are smashed by debris from a tower detonated by blocks of C4 explosive. Simians strike metal structures and platforms when they fall from great heights. Apes grab and, you might say, manhandle innocent humans—slamming them to the ground, dragging them off and throwing them into cages. Koba, an older and war-hungry ape, points to his many ugly scars—gained while he was a lab test subject—and speaks of mankind's savage ways. He later grabs a machine gun and riddles two men with bullets, point-blank. He jumps on an armored military vehicle, crushes and pummels its human occupants and uses its large-caliber gun to slaughter even more. After an ape follower refuses to murder a fallen human, Koba grabs the more conscientious ape and throws him to his death off a precipice. Early on, the ape hordes go hunting, felling antelope and a bear with spears. Caesar's son is raked by a bear's sharp claws, the young ape's chest torn and bloodied.Crude or Profane LanguageOne f-word and at least a half-dozen s-words join a handful of uses each of "a--," "b--ch" and "h---." Jesus' name is misused once; God's is exclaimed a time or two as well.Drug and Alcohol ContentCarver smokes a cigarette. Men drink from a bottle of booze while testing weapons.Other Negative ElementsConclusionAstounding action sequences. Pattern of original sin. Evolution. Those oddly grouped-together words are not quite as fluid as a good haiku nor are they even meant to stand on their own as a clever acronym. Rather, they clearly describe the cinematic elements that stood out to me while watching this film. First of all, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is undeniably a dynamic chest-thump of a summer movie. Its dystopian world of crumbling cities, where ragged groups of men and apes battle for dominance, is vividly created—right down to the gritty death throes at times. The horse-riding, word-grunting ape/gorilla/monkey/orangutan characters are a feat of CGI brilliance. And the musical score is sweeping. Second, there are parts of the story that strongly reminded me of spiritual things. The film itself doesn't recognize any faith-focused elements—its creators would more likely see the story as a secular morality tale or perhaps a parable of extremism in the postmodern world. But it's clear that man and intelligent ape alike both suffer from an underlying, corrupted, fallen nature that incessantly drives things toward the dark side. Caesar himself—the enlightened ape with dreams of a simian utopia—even pauses at one point to wonder how alike apes and men might be in their evil natures. Then there's the evolutionary side of the tale. But in this case I'm not talking about orangutan-turns-into-mountain-man transitions. Nope, you've long-ago figured out that this 4-decades-old franchise monkeys around with that sort of thing. Here I'm focusing on the sequel kind of evolution. Because Dawn of the Planet of the Apes often feels exactly like what it is: a second installment, a step in between, a transitional fossil. You know where it's going and what it's doing through every battle-torn twist and turn. It's setting up that big trilogy conclusion, of course. Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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John Hanlon2
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    In the 2011 feature Rise of the Planet of the Apes, ambulance the camera was a tool that director Rupert Wyatt used to show the power dynamic between the apes and the humans. In some scenes, information pills the camera looked up at the apes...
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    (Review Source)
  • Kenneth Branagh talks Cinderella & Shakespeare
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Want to know who is cleaning up at the 2015 Academy Awards. I’ll be live-tweeting the show @johnhanlon and keeping score of the winners below. All of the winners will be in bold as the night progresses. Best motion picture of the year “American Sniper” “Birdman or...
    ...
    (Review Source)

Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    ...
    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Weekend Box Office: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Hellion
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews Hellion“: This is supposed to be another “breakout” movie for “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul. And it fails miserably. It’s low-budget and it shows. And the story and movie were pointless and a complete and total waste of time. Paul plays yet another in the long string of irresponsible, careless dads brought to us by anti-male Hollywood. He’s a working-class father whose wife died, and he is left to raise two sons. But he leaves them alone for weeks while he gets drunk and works on a vacation home that the family is about to lose to foreclosure. The older son, a young teen, is a vandal and criminal, who gets caught. But he is let out and he influences the younger son to get involved in the life of crime, too. Soon, Paul loses custody of the younger son to his sister-in-law. And the life of crime of the older son continues. It all ends in worse violence involving a gun. The end. Like I said, a pointless waste of time. FOUR MARXES PLUS FOUR OBAMAS ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Society Reviews1
Society Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • War for the Planet of the Apes Review
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes established an emotional grounding between Caesar and Koba given their two very different experiences with humans. Without that element, War for the Planet of the Ape…
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Return to the (Original) Planet of the Apes
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters today and if it’s anything like its predecessors, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it should be a hoot. But as good as the modern Apes series, is, for overgrown boys of a certain age it will never quite compare with the five movies that constituted the original series. In the mid-’70s, this celluloid Pentateuch spurred a few million of my fellow pubescents to play endlessly with Mego’s Ape act
    ...
    (Review Source)

John Nolte2
Daily Wire / Breitbart



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Review: Uninspired Mess
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    For once a trailer did not lie. The previews for “Terminator Genisys” look like an uninspired mess; the movie itself is an uninspired mess. When it comes to action films, we don’t ask for much: just enough plot to connect the violence will do. “Genisys” has too much plot; tidal waves of plot with gallons of exposition and gaping plot holes that work like black holes to suck the logic and fun out of everything. Here is the plot as far as I could follow it. Even though I took notes, I still got a little lost. The “Genisys” trailer has already **spoiled** most of the major plot turns. Nothing below will go beyond that. “Genisys” opens just before James Cameron’s original 1984 film began. The year is 2029 and rebel leader John Connor (a miscast Jason Clarke) is on the verge of defeating The Machines that have enslaved the world. Believing it will win them a war they will otherwise lose, in a last-ditch effort, The Machines send a T-800 model Terminator back in time to to 1984 Los Angeles to murder Connor’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). In turn, to protect his mother, John Connor sends Kyle Reese (a
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 'Terminator: Genisys' Review: Uninspired Mess
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    For once a trailer did not lie. The previews for “Terminator Genisys” look like an uninspired mess; the movie itself is an uninspired mess. When it comes to action films, we don’t ask for much: just enough plot to connect the violence will do. “Genisys” has too much plot; tidal waves of plot with gallons of exposition and gaping plot holes that work like black holes to suck the logic and fun out of everything. Here is the plot as far as I could follow it. Even though I took notes, I still got a little lost. The “Genisys” trailer has already **spoiled** most of the major plot turns. Nothing below will go beyond that. “Genisys” opens just before James Cameron’s original 1984 film began. The year is 2029 and rebel leader John Connor (a miscast Jason Clarke) is on the verge of defeating The Machines that have enslaved the world. Believing it will win them a war they will otherwise lose, in a last-ditch effort, The Machines send a T-800 model Terminator back in time to to 1984 Los Angeles to murder Connor’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). In turn, to protect his mother, John Connor sends Kyle Reese (a
    ...
    (Review Source)

Mark Steyn1
Fox News



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • War for the Planet of the Apes
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Pierre Boule was working on a rubber plantation in Malaysia when the Japanese invaded and carted him off to a POW camp. He escaped, and spent the rest of the war as an intelligence agent for the British and French. Back in Paris in the late Forties, he
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff2
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • What ‘War For The Planet Of The Apes’ Reveals About Being Human
    (”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    At times, it can almost seem ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is anti-human. Yet it really shows what is best, and worst, about humankind, and therefore defines it.
    ...
    (Review Source)

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