The most astonishing achievement of Dawn is that within seconds you forget that every ape, from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z, is played by a man in a skin-tight bodysuit. The dynamics of their new civilisation dominate the first hour, so it’s a shame then that it’s so boring.
The script, direction and flat cinematography conspire to drain the beginning of any excitement, so it’s a massive relief when one shock moment kicks things into action. Reeves’s direction becomes far more confident and he regains credit with a stunning final fight scene between Caesar and Koba atop a half-finished skyscraper.
The ape-centric script suits the fantastic Serkis and Kebbell, but short-changes Clarke, Oldman, Russell and co. The first half is dull and predictable, but Dawn just about earns its stars with a flurry of shocks and showdowns in the second half.
CAST: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell
DIRECTOR: Matt Reeves
WRITERS: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Pierre Boulle for his original novel ‘La Planète des Singes’
SYNOPSIS: In the wake of the Simian flu epidemic, the growing ape community finds itself at a critical point with the human race.