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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) Second entry in the new prequels, telling the tale of how "smart apes" evolved from a lab accident (covered in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and how Caesar becomes the leader of the intelligent primates. I really enjoyed this movie, and while not a big fan of cartoony CGI, the computer work here is phenomenal. It's not long that you forget that the new Ape characters are entirely virtual effects and the story and action draws you in. The first portion of the movie mainly deals with the blossoming Ape society deep in the woods and how smart they are becoming...with Caesar and a few others beginning to speak. Then we get into the surviving humans, headed by Gary Oldman, and of course the humans NEED to invade the Apes' sanctuary with their big guns, in order to attempt to restore power at an abandoned nuclear plant. Naturally, the Apes and humans do not get along and on both sides, there are those wanting to kill the other. Someone will draw first blood, leading to war. Tensions and suspense mount, despite knowing the direction of the story and the final outcome. All of the PLANET OF THE APES movies have had some sort of message in them (planned or not) and this installment has a great one at heart- WAR IS NOT GOOD FOR ANY LIVING BEINGS. But it's always inevitable, because there's always CRAZIES in high places of authority, leading us in that direction if we're a thinking species. The Ape characters are splendid in this movie, there are subtle homages to all the original APE sequels throughout that you can pick up on if you look hard (such as the APE NOT KILL APE theme, the underground passageways of BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, etc. etc.) and everything ties in nicely to the original Charlton Heston masterpiece or the Tim Burton reimagining (whichever you may prefer) in terms of continuity. Epic action, Ape characters you care about, spectacular drama, and a good story keep this movie rolling along at a nice clip. The human characters are rather generic, but that's okay, because it's the evolution of the Apes that we're interested in anyway, and that's the main focus here. If you're a PLANET OF THE APES fan, it's hard to imagine that you'll be disappointed with this entry. And if you're not, definitely give this movie a watch. It'll surely win you over!

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