Recently, Hollywood has been rebooting many franchises. The Amazing Spider-Man has done pretty well, unlike Transformers, which has failed miserable and needs to end. And let’s not get started with horror movies… However, one of Hollywood’s greatest franchises, Planet of the Apes, was rebooted in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the prequel to the series a generation before mine may be better acquainted with. This week, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues this reboot in a way that is equivalent to modern cinematic genius.
Two things stuck out to me from the beginning. We, as humans, do not realize the importance of nonverbal communication. (It’s 93% of the way we communicate.) The first 10 minutes or so shows Caesar, the leader, communicating with his “ape wife.” (I’m not really sure what you call an ape’s wife…) It is fascinating that one can completely understand what is being communicated, as well as understand the emotional connection being shown.
Secondly, let’s take… for example, Independence Day or Armageddon. When they were first released, they were applauded because of their special effects. Now, we notice how… dull they are because we have movies that make things look sooo real. The creators of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings help create extraordinarily looking apes, to the point that the viewer forgets that the apes are computer generated images.
This film takes the viewer on a compelling cinematic ride of rooting for apes, then rooting for humans, then apes again. Few films are able to capture your attention spans for over an hour and a half, but this films keeps your interest from beginning to end. And there are two…yes, two ape vs. ape fight scenes that are extraordinarily tense and visually amazing.
Similar to a book, there is a massive turning point (climax) in the middle of the film that completely takes the viewer on a hard right turn, and amps the film into serious overdrive. There are also numerous metaphors that elaborate on humanities love for guns and violence, as well as their mistrust for other human beings. More than anything, this film may make the audience realize that we are just animals…
In a summer with few blockbuster films, this film has given me faith in Hollywood that rebooting a much loved film series is possible, and these film makers have done it perfectly. Through its CGI effects, storyline, leaving the audience satisfied, and opening the option for a third prequel, this film captivates in a way blockbusters should. | A+