Magazine article Screen International

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Magazine article Screen International

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Article excerpt

Dir: Matt Reeves. US. 2014. 130mins

The sequel to sci-fi franchise reboot Rise Of The Planet of the Apes is heavier on ape-vs-human action than its predecessor and lighter on the kind of intimate drama that three years ago made the reboot a surprisingly affecting late summer hit. As such, the relatively generic Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is less emotionally resonant than Rise but possibly better equipped - especially with the addition of 3D - to fill its role as a midsummer box office earner aimed particularly at the international market.

The motion capture technique employed to make Caesar a believable and sympathetic character in Rise is used more extensively in Dawn to give a number of the ape characters identifiable personalities.

Worldwide distributor Fox opens Dawn in North America on July 11 - between the latest Transformers and the new Hercules - and the release slot should help the film at least match Rise's $176.8m domestic take. In the international arena - where it was unveiled this weekend at the Moscow International Film Festival - Dawn might, thanks to 3D, the action emphasis and an internationally flavoured cast, surpass Rise's impressive $305m tally.

The script, by Mark Bomback (The Wolverine) and Rise writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, picks up the story more than a decade after the end of the earlier film. While most of the human race has been wiped out by a simian flu virus, Caesar (once again played, with the help of motion capture technology, by Andy Serkis) and his fellow genetically evolved apes have made a secluded home in the Northern California forest.

They're not yet as sophisticated as the title characters in the 1968 franchise original, but they have learned to ride horses, construct shelters and, in a few cases, speak.

The trouble starts when a group of human survivors shows up looking for a forest dam that could provide power for a San Francisco encampment. …

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