Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
The sequel takes place 10 years after Simian flu has wiped out many of the human's on Earth. Caeser, the genetically modified chimpanzee has now gained hundreds of new followers and has built a thriving colony for his species. Things take a turn for the worse when a small group of human survivors stumble across the chimps and take a shot at one of them, which then sparks tension between the two species. Caeser struggles to keep the peace and avoid an all out war but when there's an enemy within the midst of his own camp he realises that's going to be much more difficult than he first anticipated.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is so magical and aesthetically pleasing to watch; the special effects are breathtakingly real and as a viewer, you almost forget that these chimps aren't actually animals that have taken to the role of acting so well. Buried beneath the spectacle of scenery of this post-apocalyptic world and the amazing wonders of CGI, we realise there is a much deeper story emerging between these two conflicting species. One of the main things I enjoyed was the reflection between the main characters; for every human character there was a counter part in ape form that shared the same traits, beliefs and personalities; proving that although they make look different on the outside, they're all the same on the inside.
I was a huge fan of the first film and couldn't help but back up Caeser throughout the whole thing and his character is extremely well crafted, yet again, in the sequel. The film makers have the audience exactly where they want them throughout the film and as a viewer you find yourself switching between sympathy for the human race and apes, realising there are good and bad on both sides. The action packed ending certainly doesn't disappoint either, jumping between shots of Caeser and Malcolm who are both suffering from the same predicament, it contains enough tension and atmosphere to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Overall I believe Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has outdone it's predecessor in many ways, it manages to create an action packed war blockbuster with much more emotion and a deeper meaning, challenging it's viewer to look beyond the special effects and invest in the characters. This is probably one of my favourite films of 2014, so if you had any doubts about this sequel then I can assure you that there's nothing to worry about. Go and check it out, it'll blow your mind.