Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
I have a few thoughts:
1. It's worth going in with no idea how it will end. It's a very dark movie that doesn't indulge in a happy ending (and really, is there any one of the Apes movies that has what could be called a "happy" ending)? Try and avoid any major spoilers if you can.
2. This is walking away with the Visual Effects Oscars. You never think during the movie about the ape effects, a magnificent achievement for the effects people and for the actors. Andy Serkis as Ceasar, yes, but also people like Judy Greer, Toby Kebbell and Karin Konoval. As John Scalzi said in his review, "We’re on the other side of the Uncanny Valley of the Planet of the Apes."
3. And speaking of that...I'm hard put to think of when the last popular movie in the US was where a lot, if not the majority, of the movie is subtitled. There are a lot of scenes with the apes talking to each other in SL (and thank you, modern movies, for the shift from hard-to-read white subtitles to much better yellow ones).
4. The kid (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is pretty good, but the plot thread involving a teenage son kind of goes nowhere. Does have a great scene where he shares a graphic novel (Charles Burns' Black Hole, of all things) with Maurice.
5. I like a movie where the villains are pretty sympathetic, and this one delivers in spades. There's two, both with good reason to not trust the other side and the movie doesn't ignore that.
It's a hell of a movie, one of the best of the year so far and a damn good job building on what was one of my favorite surprises of 2011. I figure they'll do a third movie, perhaps, to build on the sad inevitability of this one's ending and I can't wait to see it.