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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Starring: Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Judy Greer, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee (Rated M – 130 min).

Phenomenal sequel, incredible in every aspect, stunning science-fiction of the highest order, not only is this visually arresting, your senses will be challenged at the heart stopping adventure.

Set ten years after events in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the experimental drug which gained chimpanzees human intelligence has gone viral with apocalyptic consequences. After storming his Simian army across the Golden Gate bridge taking control of the San Francisco national park, Caesar still leads with an iron paw, keeping peace within his growing community away from decreasing humanity. The final frame of the previous film revealed Caesar as illiterate, now his speech is developed as has his survival instincts towards his nurtured nation of Apes.

Resistance from people living in the fallen city is led by anarchist Dreyfus (Gary Oldman at his arm waving angry best) who wants them wiped out to restore civilisation as we know it. Attempts to meet and bond create nothing but agitated tension from both sides. Guns replace talk negotiations, a war brews and Caesar rallies his troops for a head-on assault back over the bridge.

The following details of the plot I will not reveal, but be prepared for high pressure cooker situations and spectacular digital effects. Having portrayed beasts, King Kong, and to a lesser extent Gollum (Lord of the Rings) Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar for his motion capture performance as the ruthless Caesar, he delivers intense, riveting nerve jangling simian anxiety. Soon to be seen in another high profile reboot, Terminator Genesis, Australian Jason Clarke (Great Gatsby) is benevolent as a sniper shooting huntsman.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, is still my best film of the year so far, but this primitive thriller is a close second. Brilliant in every possible way and in no uncertain terms leaves you hanging for more after a final sequence whetting the appetite for the already announced next installment.

Shane A. Bassett

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