It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the apes feel fine. As for humanity? Not so much, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t care so much about their feelings. This dawn is well past mankind’s twilight.
The excellent 2011 reboot of the Planet of the Apes series ended with a map hinting at the worldwide spread of a man-made contagion. The retrovirus used to make lab apes smart in that film was, it turned out, deadly to humans. A more generic Hollywood franchise might have followed that film up with mankind’s collapse, focusing on the chaos of our desperate attempts to keep society intact as the apes grew stronger and smarter and more organized, hidden away in the forests. But this sequel is anything but generic.
In fact, the film skips over the specifics of that collapse almost entirely, only referencing it through an opening credits audio montage of news reports describing society’s rapid spiral into radio silence. Then director Matt Reeves, taking over the franchise from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, drops us into a now well-established ape society a decade down the line.
What few humans are left are…
Continue reading the rest of my review over at NPR.
Tags | NPR | review | science fiction | sci-fi | motion capture | matt reeves | Andy Serkis | apes | sequel | post-apocalyptic | contagion