Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

This movie spooked me. I guess the thought I had while watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was the same one I had when I attempted to watch The Pacific: It was all too real. 

(1) Part of the movie is set in San Francisco, which is just an hour's drive from my parents' place. So the scenes from above the Golden Gate Bridge and from downtown San Francisco, while probably shot using CGI or were shot live in a different city, were too familiar... it's almost akin to seeing your neighbourhood turned into garbage heap by a strong typhoon.

(2) Most of the humans have died because of an epidemic of simian flu. Those who were left were immune to the virus. This epidemic premise sounded awfully similar to that of the medical novel Outbreak by Robin Cook. 

(3) The motion-capture effects were so good that the apes were too real. But despite the ape appearance, I could almost see that the apes have evolved into human-like intelligent beings. And the way the apes fought... that's just too violent for my taste. I mean, I could watch Lord of the Rings (which has a lot of battle scenes) and not get scared of the film because the blood was black, the hand-to-hand combat was almost non-existent, and I know it's set in Middle Earth, not in a real city.

(4) The apes in the movie had human eyes. I could see Andy Serkis right through the ape-leader Caesar, the same way that I could see his expressions in Gollum's face. Goodness, Gollum freaked me out at first too!!

All these prove that the movie was good. So good. I am not watching it again but I do recommend that others see it.