#47 # 48 #50 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Starring Andy Serkis, Andy Serkis, Andy Serkis, oh and some other actors including Gary Oldman, Jason Clark, Keri Russell and did I mention, Andy Serkis?
Directed by Matt Reeves, 130 minutes short.
Well, that's it, the movie of the summer and one of the best films of the year done and dusted. No, compulsions, no quibbles, no doubts, this film delivers and then knocks it out of the ball park.
Taking up 10 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this movie is an utter marvel from beginning to end and shows Hollywood and the likes of Michael Bay, Ehren Kruger and
Damon Lindelof that a summer event, tent-pole, blockbuster doesn't have to be a vacuous, braindead explosion of cgi excess. That a event film can be a totally fulfilling experience and not just empty brain calories. Taking its own sweet time to get going, this film spends its time wisely, investing the apes with real humanity, and the first 20 odd minutes are just spent watching the apes exist in their forest tree home, before we even get our first glimpse of the remnants of mankind. And when the humans do finally turn up, with the plot, the centre of attention never moves away from Andy Serkis and his troop of motion-captured actors. And it's a delight to find the plot evolving organically over its 2 hr 10 minute running time as the two groups of survivors meet and try to co-exist while mistrust on both sides builds and finally explodes leading to an almighty confrontation and a dramatic and satisfying third act finale.
But the main thing you notice is just how good the actors playing the apes are, the fact that 90% of the emotional strength of this film comes from their physical performances and that fact they spend nearly all that screen time talking in sign language is simply astonishing. But that's not to denigate the human actors in this film, everyone delivers a measured and powerful performance almost as if they all wanted to deliver a film they'd be rightly proud of.
The first Apes film, Rise came as a huge surprise to everyone, no one expected it to be just as good as it was, well I seriously doubt anyone could have expected this sequel to up the ante quite as much as it does! This is a powerful and intense film, which never loses sight of the story or plot beneath the simply staggering special effects, which are utterly seamless, in fact this kicks the bar into orbit so convincing is the cgi illusion.
This is a film that deserves to bank a billion, an adult drama with action, intrigue, and adventure that never sags and doesn't disappoint.
Don't miss this one, but feel free to skip the 3D.
Crazy thing is, I've seen this three times now and it's still enjoyable, still can't fault it.