My friend David and I made plans few weeks ago to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in a nearby cinema-mall by his apartment. I received a text message on Friday night asking me to accompany him at a cinema. I had seen him last weekend and he owed me money from a gig we did together, which was probably the biggest reason we were meeting up. The following day, our alarms were set for 10AM sharp at Cinemarks. However, being an early bird I was at the mall half an hour early.
At first, everything about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes thrilled me. Like many film enthusiasts, I skipped the trailer and avoided any topics associated with the film. I arrived at Cinemark and read about the production techniques of the film through my black LG phone. First news to pop-up related to the film was Andy Serkis who plays Ceaser recently announced that he will direct an adaptation of Richard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Samantha Shannon’s The Imaginarium: The Bone Season.
Dawn of the planet of the Apes is about genetically evolved apes led by alpha-ape Caesar living in a national forest outside of San Francisco (or Vancouver set location) is threatened by a crew of human survivors from a deadly virus that eliminated human race. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is directed by Matt Reeves. He gained his audience through Cloverfield and adaptation of Swedish film Let the Right One In. The story of dawn of the planet of the Apes gave me a déjà vu. It was like Mark Bomback and Rick Jaffa had recently woken up after seeing Avatar and decided to rewrite a similar storyline and substitute Na’vis with Apes. I was more interested in motion graphics and production side of this film rather than the uncreative writing.
After the film ended, I had read on Reddit how there was an alternative scene at the end. David and I waited unwearyingly, but nothing came of it. While we walked out of the theatre, we both chatted about the technical aspects of the film. David rightfully made his opinion on actors who do motion graphics need to be acknowledged for their acting. There was a similar debate when Zoe Saldana was ignored for an Oscar nomination. Our discussion continued on Dawn of the Planet of the Ape’s 360-degree shot on top of a tank. It was the only scene that grabbed both of our attention. The scene follows an ape that takes control over a tank and the camera follows it through a 360-degree pan. When the humans enter their protected guard, there was a similar scene that reminded me of I Am Legend and Godzilla. Both scenes looked very familiar: inner city deserted jungles. Joe Letteri, the visual effects supervisor who won an Oscar for Avatar, LOTR and also Rise of the Planet of the Apes. CG characters in Dawn set a new high mark.
Although, my review is written few weeks later, Dawn has received critical acclaim and strong positive reviews and dominating rest of July at the box office. Matt Reeves has already planned a sequel to Apes franchise. Andy Serkis delivers a strong performance that makes you wonder if you’re really watching motion graphics capture work or not. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a perfectly good option on a Saturday afternoon.