Early Reactions: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Might Be the Best of 2014

Caesar in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'With a year already full of amazing and top notch movies, the summer blockbuster list has a lot to live up to. One of those is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes set a decade later where half the earth has been wiped out by the virus that made the Apes more human than ever. Screenings of the movie for media have been shown over the past few days with the early reviews are pouring in. 

Official synopsis:

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 that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

Below are some of the most well respected movie reviewing websites in the business, but remember that the movie doesn’t even come out until the 11th. So for now, a few of these only consist of a small sample size compared to what it will be the Monday following the movies release.

IGN‘s Senior Editor Scott Collura had the opportunity to watch the movie earlier this week and wrote the following in his review, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes does what the best of Hollywood genre movies can do — it’s exciting, thrilling, and visually breathtaking. But it’s so much more than that as well. This is the kind of movie that we all deserve. One that challenges us and moves us in an enormously entertaining way. And the best part is Reeves and Serkis will be back for the next installment as well. The Apes franchise returns to greatness with Dawn, a film that works as both a rousing summer tent pole movie as well as an intelligent science-fiction tale with heart. It’s a sequel that tops its predecessor and rivals the greatness of the original films.” 

He made the following points as well… + Smart, gripping sci-fi, + Serkis/Weta Rule, + No Mere Blockbuster, and + Koba: Instant Classic. He gave an overall rating of 9.5 which fits in their ‘Amazing’ category of movies.

Drew McWeeny of HitFix also got a chance to see it and wrote the following in his own review, “It’s a film that treats the entire concept of ‘Planet of the Apes’ as well as it’s ever been treated, and it feels to me like he’s set the table for a very different series of films than we’ve seen from any big summer movie franchise. This is something that not only comments on who we are, but that dares to ask questions about who we can be and whether or not we deserve our stewardship of this planet. I’m not only impressed, but deeply moved, and this is the first of this summer’s movies that I not only need to see again immediately, but that I know immediately is going to be a major part of science-fiction fandom permanently. Heartbreaking and harrowing, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is as good as big-budget science-fiction gets, technically dazzling and emotionally demanding.” 

HitFix doesn’t do a number scale or ‘highlight’ points, rather just an overall grade. Well McWeeny gave it an A+, which is rarely given on a science-fiction movie. I would imagine that an A+ compares to a 9.5  pretty well, so damn.

Other notable sites include Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, which are both critic and user friendly.

  • Rotten Tomatoes – 94% (16 fresh, 1 rotten) with no audience ratings yet.
  • IMDb – 8.8 with a total of 1,495 user ratings and 14 critic ratings.
  • Metacritic – 90/100 based on 7 critics (all positive).

If the major sites keep this trend up and the user friendlies keep going as well, this movie will stomp all over the sic-fi movie world. I have been waiting patiently but very anxiously for this movie to come out for months now and I couldn’t be anymore happy with what I’m hearing. If it’s all true, then we won’t just be getting the humans versus apes element we expect and love from these movies. But a complete and total emotional roller coaster that questions our very existence and how we live in this world. To see what is being called phenomenal live-action and motion capture performances, including CGI apes who look completely life-like and like their in front of the camera as well.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens on July 11th, 2014. Directed by Matt Reeves starring Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kirk Acevedo with voices by Andy Serkis, Toby Kebell, Nick Thurston, Judy Greer, and Karin Konoval.



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