Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Release Date: 24 November
2014 | 12 | Blu- ray 3D/ Blu- ray/ DVD Director: Matt Reeves Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Toby Kebbell, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit- McPhee
If you missed Rise
Of The Planet Of The Apes, then you can jump in here. Dawn’s plot is simple enough. Ten years ago, humanity was mostly wiped out by a catastrophic virus. Meanwhile, apes with uplifted intelligence broke their cages and fled to the forest, ready to inherit the Earth. But it’s only if you see Dawn after Rise that you get the full impact of these films’ bold trick – to tell an epic hero story where the maturing hero is a chimpanzee.
Performed by Andy “Gollum” Serkis, the ape leader Caesar is now truly regal, his wise mocapped face passing easily from gentleness to wrath. The humans can’t compete – and that’s a big problem. For a war of the species epic, this summer tentpole feels diminished on second viewing. Yes, it’s entertaining, but the story can be painfully slow and obvious during the human scenes.
Still, the apes’ misty redwoods are exciting, eerie and dreamy, and the apes themselves are more hairily overwhelming than they were in Rise, with a punch- the- air scene where they commandeer a tank in a fiery night battle. Even better is a moment when a sly ape clowns around like a bar- room drunk, making a monkey out of stupid men. But the human actors, led by Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman, are badly served, their characters never really dimensional.
Only at the end, when the ape and human leads learn how similar they are, does the cross- species story pay off. Till then the apes carry the picture pretty well by themselves.
Extras: The DVD has just one nine- minute featurette, and four galleries. The Blu- ray ( rated) adds a commentary by director Matt Reeves, four minutes of deleted scenes ( also with optional commentary), and another seven featurettes ( 99 minutes) on the likes of Weta’s effects, and how the mocap actors moved like apes.
Also available: eight- film Blu- ray box set Caesar’s Warrior Collection, available exclusively from Amazon.
Still pondering the whereabouts of that precious.