Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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On Thursday I had some free time and went to see this movie at the Regency in Huntington Beach.  This theater, on Warner (X street Beach) has been offering movies for $3 for years. How they stay in business is a mystery to me. You can’t beat the price of $3 movies and the $1 hot dogs.

 

Anyway, here’s my review

 

 

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Set 10 years after the first movie of the new series, Caesar is fully in charge of the apes. They have built a city (at least by ape standards), have surprising educational system (the apes are taught reading, speaking, and how to live by an ape code), and an organized system of hunting.

 

Caesar is intelligent (shown by his ability to outthink a bear which is threatening him and his potential rivals for control of the apes, but is wise (which we see repeatedly throughout the film) as well. He has an acute sense of personalities, and more than other anyone else, human or ape, is able to learn from his mistakes.

 

His paradise is threatened by first son Blue Eyes is having problems understanding what the hidden dangers are in his paradise as well as dangers both humans and apes can bring.

 

Note: The name Blue Eyes is an apparent homage to the original Planet of the Apes (1968), where Dr. Zira has blue eyes.

 

Koba, second in command to Caesar, is another unseen danger that Caesar will have to deal with sometime. Koba is distrustful of all humans and uses his scars to justify his reasoning and behavior. And Koba’s mistrust and aggressive behavior continues to grow after their first encounter with humans 10 years after ALZ-113 virus makes its debut.

 

Malcom is trying to get a dam to operate so the human colony in San Francisco can have electrical power and lights to survive in their city fortress. But to do so, he needs to cross into the apes’ newly defined homeland in the forest.

 

Despite many setbacks and painstaking work with both the generating the power and negotiating with the apes, he finally succeeds in restoring power and establishing at the basis for peace between the apes and humans. But that joy is short lived. During the time it took to restart the generator, warmongers on both sides have succeeded in starting a war.

 

Caesar is shot and his ape city is set on fire. Koba leads the apes and attack San Francisco.

 

In the clash that follows Koba shows his true nature. He is not bounded by reason or by Caesar’s wisdom or charisma. He goes on a rampage, first giving the command to kill all humans. That command violates the reasoning of the other apes have as many of them have seen the good side of human beings. So the humans are instead imprisoned along with the apes who are deemed “too close to Caesar“.

 

The war also apparently destroys the electrical connections between the dam and the human colony.

 

The lights goes out for the humans in the San Francisco colony. It also sets up the possibility that this also might mean the darkness is coming to all of humanity.

 

At the end, Caesar knows that he is going have to fight a larger war. He tells Malcom, who he now considers a friend, to leave the city for his own safety.

 

The franchise is making a third installment to follow this sequel. I am going to watch it.

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