The reboot of the Planet of the Apes movies continues with a dramatic sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which saw the outbreak of a lethal Simian flu and its devastating impact on the planet’s human population. Now, over a decade later, the new movie picks up with a band of human survivors who have escaped the virus, only to be forced into conflict with Caesar, and his growing army of genetically evolved intelligent apes.
Of course, the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie trailer doesn’t give away too many surprises, but it certainly hints at the dark battle to be played out between both sides. Taking the story back the ruins of San Francisco, and moved forward to the year 2026, Caesar now rules over a 2,000 strong group in the city’s lush Muir Woods. The humans who have lived through the devastation of the disease attempt to find a way out of the resulting chaos, by reaching out to the increasingly powerful apes, in an attempt to broker a fragile sense of peace. But things aren’t simple, and the conflict soon heats up again, as the tense and explosive trailer reveals.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sees the versatile Andy Serkis reprise his role as Caesar, joined by stuntman, Terry Notary, as his friend, Rocket. Continuing the deeper exploration of the background behind the Planet of the Apes filmic universe, the second instalment of the reboot follows up on many of the questions opened up by Rise, while taking a closer look at the dynamic between Caesar and arch-rival, Koba. And with a growing family around him, including wife, Cornelia, a teenage Prince of the Forest, River, and a new baby on the way, life for Caesar is certainly far from straightforward. The former revolutionary is now a leader and a beacon of hope for the future in the solid forest fortress where the apes share memories and stories, and gain power through knowledge.
We’re also treated to an exciting new cast for the human team too, who face ample conflicts of their own. The ever-brilliant Gary Oldman steps in as Dreyfus, leader of the Human Resistance, and poses a possible force to contend with. Jason Clarke’s character, Malcolm, picks up where Will Rodman left off in the previous film, attempting to bridge the gap between humans and apes, by reaching out to Caesar. But Dreyfus, who is determined to wipe out the apes after seeing the impact of the Simian Flu, might just scupper Malcolm’s attempts at peace. The human survivors are left clinging to fragile and isolated shreds of hope, and have little solace in a broken world. Dark, dramatic and a fantastic addition to the Apes franchise, this will be a must see for sci-fi fans and those who love a bit of dystopian drama.