DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
I don’t usually go to the cinema because I can’t always hear all of the dialogue. (I am slowly going deaf) However in this particular theatre I heard enough dialogue to get the gist of the movie. Maybe it has something to do with the state-of-the-art sound system. (I usually watch DVDS with subtitles. Thankfully I watched a lot of foreign language films during my formative years so writing on the screen doesn’t bother me.)
And, as my kid sister pointed out. the apes in this movie have their own language which is translated in – guess what? – subtitles.
Andy Serkis is a master of motion capture (he also portrayed Gollum in the Lord of the Rings series) and he adds a lot of heart and soul to Caesar, the animated ape that escaped out of the lab and has since become the leader of his species.
Of course, an expected antagonism between apes and humans fuels the plot (which can be viewed as a metaphor for better racial understanding)
Director Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) has a great cast to work with including Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Kirk Azevedo (TV’s Oz), Keri Russel (Reeves was one of the main men behind Ms. Russell’s Felicity TV hit), Judy Greer (TV’s Arrested Development), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), a slumming Gary Oldman, to mention just a few.
My sister opined that she liked the movie up until “the last part” which devolved into a CGI-filled battle between Caesar and evil ape Koba (Toby Kebbell, also suited up with motion capture equipment to portray Caesar’s villainous rival.)
Come to think of it, the final climactic battle between good and evil ape did look a lot like the customary over-the-top action pic finale between the good guy and the bad guy. I guess, given the pedigree of this long-running series, my sister was expecting something more.
Like Chuck Berry once sang (in a completely different context) “Too much monkey business.”