SYNOPSIS: It is 2026 and humanity has been pushed to near extinction by a deadly virus. When a group of survivors desperate to find a new source of power travels into the woods near San Francisco, they discover a highly evolved community of intelligent apes led by Caesar. The two species form a fragile peace agreement but dissention grows and the groups find themselves hurting toward an all-out war.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes undeniable is my favourite live-action movie of 2014. Combining classy storytelling and convincing visual effects, it’s an amazing follow-up to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

It’s the year 2026. The population of mankind has dwindled after a devastating virus outbreak. Led by Caesar (Andy Serkins in a motion-captured performance), the genetically evolved apes in the meantime has setup home in the rainforest. But peace is once again tested as the remaining human survivors are fast running out of power. The only solution is for the humans are to go deep into the forest to restart a hydroelectric dam, an area that is dominated by the apes.   

While Caesar empathies with the humans’ plight, his right-hand ape Koba (Toby Kebbell) however feels his leader is siding with humans instead of their own kind. Taking matters into his own hands, Koba inevitably unleashed a war between humans and apes in which the last chance for peace is ultimately shattered.

The emotionally engaging relationship between Caesar and his human father figure scientist Will is what makes the first movie clicked. Not forgetting Will’s Alzheimer stricken father played by John Lithgow. The humans this time round are more geared towards stock characters. With little backstory, characters such as the main hero Malcolm (Jason Clarke), his wife Ellie (Keri Russell), son Alexander (Kodi-Smith-McPhee) and the leader of the human survivors Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) ended up largely under-developed.

Yet the entire story managed to stay afloat and remained incredibly engaging for a whole two hours. Director Matt Reeves and his story writing team crafted a soulful portrayal of Caesar and with much attention focused on the apes’ community, the audience is able to see things more clearly from the apes’ perspective. Instead of mere special effects and guns-toting apes on horses, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at its core is a character driven, emotionally satisfying summer blockbuster.

The movie is also admirable for it’s display of social commentary, which is relevant to our aspects of our daily lives. Clearly, the filmmakers have done a fantastic job balancing mainstream cinema with smart storytelling. Kudos to Andy Serkis and his team of motion-captured performance actors for their incredible work while dressed in embarrassingly tight gray bodysuits. 


Andy Serkis: Rediscovering Caesar is a nine minutes feature that has Serkis talking about performance capture and how his role as Caesar has grown since the first. The other features are Gallery, Theatrical Trailersand Sneak Peek of Exodus: Gods and Kings.


The visual presentation on the whole is fine and detailed despite a couple of dark shadowy scenes. Audio quality is dynamic and feature very well-placed ambient effects especially scenes which feature the drizzling rainforest. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo
Director: Matt Reeves
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence & Brief Coarse Language) 
Year Made: 2014


- Andy Serkis: Rediscovering Caesar
- Gallery
- Theatrical Trailers
- Sneak Peek of Exodus: Gods and Kings


Languages: English/Spanish/Portuguese/Thai
Subtitles: English/Spanish/Portuguese/Bahasa Indonesia/
Bahasa Malaysia/Mandarin/Thai/Vietnamese/
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time:  2 hrs 12 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: HVN Entertainment Singapore