Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
By Nolan P. Smith
(Victorville)— In 2011, the Planet of the Apes franchise was brought back to the big screen to the delight of audiences everywhere with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Instead of a brainless action packed film full of talking simians, we got an emotional, well thought out introduction to the origin of the smart, talking apes. The only downside? How do you top a movie beloved around the globe? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes not only meets the same quality as the first time around, it surpasses it.
Directed by Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield, the latest installment of apes takes place 10 years after the last film. The Simian Flu has spread, killing millions across the globe as the smart ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his tribe of apes have lived peacefully in the forests around San Francisco. But as the poet Robert Frost once said, “nothing gold can stay”, and it doesn’t, as humanity ventures in towards the ape homes with hopes of reactivating a dam to restore power to San Francisco. Led by the caring Malcolm (Jason Clarke), the gap between the species tries to mend, but not all goes as planned.
The stars of this film, and rightfully so, are the apes, and you will not be disappointed with these spectacular simians. From Caesar, Koba, and everyone’s favorite orangutan Maurice, the apes steal the show. I was completely amazed by the emotions we see in the faces of the CGI apes, and how human they come across at times.
When Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out, it was the sleeper hit of the summer. You can’t say the same for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as we should have seen this summer blockbuster coming. A sequel that outshines and outdoes its predecessor in every way, you owe it to yourself to see what is sure to be one of the best films of the year.