There were very few things that surprised me as much as 2011’s Rise of the Planet Apes. It was a sort-of prequel/reboot (pre-boot?) to a decades old film franchise that had already tried and failed to reboot itself, and starred a wishy-washy James Franco. It really should not have worked. But by Caesar’s ghost, did it ever! It was excitingly directed, slickly written, well acted, boasted insanely good CGI creations and introduced quite the compelling lead in the ape Caesar, played through motion capture by the peerless Andy Serkis.
And now those damn dirty apes are back to see if they can surprise us yet again. Based on this first trailer, I’m going with “Yes”.
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.
Oh man, that gave me goosebumps. Or should that be apebumps? And in case you were wondering, that is indeed Gary Oldman delivering that chilling voiceover. Oldman, Jason Clarke (who seems to have a thing for leading rebellions in the future) and Keri Russell round up the new principal human cast of characters, who have replaced James Franco and Freida Pinto in the spotlight.
That’s of course not the only shakeup, with Rupert Wyatt not returning to direct but instead handing the reins over to Cloverfield and Let Me In director Matt Reeves. None of those changes are any problem to me whatsoever, and in fact I’m rather excited for them. If there was one complaint that could be levelled at the first film, it was that Franco and Pinto’s characters were a little bland compared to everybody else, but this looks to push the new leads into far more interesting territories. Also, dirty territories, apparently.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also stars Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo and Judy Greer, and will see the start of the film reel of the movie of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on July 11, 2014.
Last Updated: December 19, 2013