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.
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Years later, "Dawn" remains the summer of 2014's headiest popcorn movie and a superb genre effort from Matt Reeves. Much of the film's power lies in the surprisingly somber mood 20th Century Fox allowed Reeves to take. And while the human drama may pale in comparison to the apes, you have to applaud the filmmakers for portraying these animals with a level of empathy and tenderness you rarely see outside a Pixar film.
As a great symphony, Dawn's composition is near perfect. The actions in it are slowly built up—all coming as a consequence of the previous one. This is something that seems obvious but that is more and more uncommon in an age were films are just sets of loosely related scenes. The action itself is visually clear and morally charged, firmly setting on the idea that action is violence, and violence only leads to pain.
It honours its illustrious source by masquerading an emotionally and intellectually stimulant geopolitical treatise as a science fiction-action/adventure. Evoking the ancient but ever present profiles of warmongers, strategists, conquerors, pacifist, and the oblivious masses. An actual improvement from the first prequel.
Disclaimer: my opinion of this movie is skewed because I worked on the ad campaign. I got to see it go from humans in grey suits acting like monkeys to temp monkeys to finished VFX. So seeing it on the big screen, in 3D, was a revelatory experience. They trimmed a lot of the fat out of the movie and it ended up being a tight narrative. Didn't care for any of the characters, but it's not about that - go for the VFX.
A serious improvement on the previous entry (which was pretty damn good itself) with far more emphasis being put on the simian culture created and plotting than on its bland human character. Sure it's summer eye candy too but one can appreciate the storytelling and adding to the franchise's pedigree that takes place here. Serkis is of course brilliant adding so much to what should only be a CGI portrayal.
The overly simplistic story aside, this is a solid step forward for the series reboot. The CGI is spectacular, the natural and abandoned locations are lush and complex, and the treatment of war and conflict as something natural was refreshing. Caesar, the reigning ape monarch, had some fantastically tense moments. Despite the flaws, despite the lulls, despite the simplicity, this was an excellent bit of fun.
At first, I thought that post-Nolan Hollywood had finally met its match and found a franchise too inherently preposterous to be turned into anything gritty. But Reeves does really well...the film is a case study in the lost art of taking its time, and the action shows a lot of visual artistry. And if the humans are all boring, by some weird poetic counterpoint the apes are perhaps the most nuanced CGI figures yet.
Diante de tantos blockbusters, eufóricos, ufanistas, esse destoa. Não só em qualidade, mas pelo desejo de pacifismo, pela ilustração trágica de impotência, pelo rosto humano malsoante nessa guerra que ninguém quer ver – mas se arma e se luta de qualquer maneira. Uma guerra involuntária e ainda de todo necessária pela ambição daqueles que lideram, constroem, reconstroem, e o que? Um admirável mundo novo.