Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Serkis skills

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray - An­drew Os­mond

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.

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