Taking place ten years after the events of its predecessor, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes picks up in the post-apocalyptic future where nearly all humans have been wiped out by the man-made virus. Caeser, the leader of the apes, grows his "family" of genetically superior apes in peace until a band of human survivors wanders into the area they consider home. With tensions running high between the humans and the apes, Caeser forms a fragile peace that is short-lived, as the darker-side of humans and apes unleashes a war over who is Earth's most dominant species. Featuring some of the most impressive computer effects and face-recognition technology, Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an intelligent, thrilling blockbuster that manages to thrill and stimulate the audience. The film's message and/or theme touts the franchise-line, capturing how humans and apes are much more similar than different, each having large flaws but also the capability to show compassion and empathy. This is a film that manages to keep the tension high throughout its entire running time, keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat as it pertains to the ape and human's ongoing diplomatic relationship. Caeser is the main character of this film, an ape who only wants the best for his fellow brethren, understanding that peace is the only way to guarantee safety. For a CGI performance, Andy Serkis delivers impressive work, though I still must admit I struggle to get fully invested with a CGI character regardless. Compared to most typical blockbuster fair, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes features some of the most intellectually complex characters of the summer, delivering a fun, relatively intelligent bit of entertainment.
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