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My review for 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.'

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Mount Prospect, USA
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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes resumes the series with thoughtfulness, confidence, and a determination to not repeat sad sequels that Hollywood spits out. An opening sequence charts the spread of Simian Flu and the subsequent eradication of much of humanity. Dawn then picks up the action 10 years after the first outbreak, with the opening scenes capturing a world in which humans no longer matter. Under Caesar’s command, the apes have set up a colony in Muir Woods, living in houses in the trees, hunting deer with weapons, and instructing a new generation of apes in the English language. The early stages of the movie plays out with no dialogue beyond subtitled sign language.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a visceral film, one of movement, action, and unexpected developments. As in Rise, the apes have presence thanks to superb effects work and the performances of those animating them via motion-capture. Dawn creates a sense that, however far-fetched its premise, what happens matters, and that there are both good and bad humans and apes alike.
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