BRIAN: We should start this review off with one question that’s been bugging me: What was with all the apes?
BRAD: I dunno. You would think a movie called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes would have more apes in it.
BRIAN: The whole ape thing just took me out of the movie, to be honest.
BRAD: And the romantic love story between Caesar and Keri Russell’s character was so forced!
BRIAN: Did we really need the graphic sex scene with full penetration shown?
BRAD: And was it really necessary to have the gorillas’ acid trip scene in the graveyard? A bit far-fetched if you ask me.
BRIAN: Finding an intact Iron Butterfly record in the old dam was really stretching it.
BRAD: That didn’t bother too much really. It would’ve been more believable if it was a CD though. But what irked me was they included all 17 minutes of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida during the acid trip. That could’ve been trimmed substantially.
The scene I really liked was the gorillas playing Russian Roulette with the Orangutans. What a perversely funny scene. A very bold decision to have that scene.
BRIAN: But if you looked closely at that Russian Roulette scene the amount of orangutan brains on the wall changes in subsequent shots.
BRAD: I nearly jumped for patriotic joy when that scene played though. I had to contain myself.
The transforming Chimp scene was downright offensive. There’s always suspension of disbelief in these sci-fi movies but when that Chimp morphed into the human I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt.
BRIAN: But she had to become human to infiltrate the human camp and sleep with Gary Oldman’s character so she could get the launch codes for the nuclear sub. I thought it made sense in the context of the movie. Although again, did they need the full penetration and the money shot? Especially since she turned back into a chimp midway through and Gary Oldman just went with it?
BRAD: It was a bit silly to have a scene where the chimps play a game of catch with a football with tuxedos. Totally stupid.
BRIAN: And Maurice asks Caesar if he wants pizza, then tells him that he already ordered a pizza, but there’s no way a pizza is getting delivered out into ape territory.
BRAD: Both scenes were great! Highlights of the film for me.
The one scene I thought was off tonally was right before the first battle scene, there was a lot of tension and then all of a sudden a huge cream pie fight breaks out. Out of nowhere! I mean, where did they get all those pies?!
BRIAN: And then everyone started slipping on banana peels. A bit too cliché for my taste.
BRAD: I just wish Clyde was still alive to cameo. That would’ve been great.
Another great scene is when Koba frantically drive to the church to stop his love interest from marrying Rocket. Along the way he ran out of gas so he swung on vines the rest of the way. He made it too late to the church as they just kissed but Koba made such a fuss, banging and jumping in the glass and flinging poop that she ran away with Koba anyway. Fittingly Koba locked the rest of the congregation in the church with a huge golden banana. It was a sweet and touching as well as funny scene.
BRIAN: Speaking of Rocket, at no point in this film or the previous one did they establish that he was a mechanical genius, but suddenly he builds a jetpack out of spare parts and becomes The Rocketeer? And the fact that it was powered by methane from gorilla farts seemed improbable, at best.
BRAD: That was absurd. I couldn’t stand that whole concept.
I also thought it was a bit over the top when Koba and other aggressive chimps attacked that human artist lady in her studio. At first it was alright since it fit Koba’s character but then he beats her to death with a huge banana sculpture while he belted out “Singin’ in the Rain!” Too much for me.
BRIAN: I know! How would he even know the lyrics to that song? Unless they played it to torture him at the lab?
BRAD: The vampire orangutan was a stretch too. However the gorilla chariot race in the Colosseum was a major high point.
BRAD: Dracutan! Or was it Gorilula?
BRAD: Hahahahaha!! I’m picturing Ella from Monkey Shines wearing a black cape with a widows peak hissing with her arms outstretched.
BRIAN: This is a great sequel, and a top-notch summer movie that actually has brains and heart. I don’t quite think it’s the Second Coming like other reviewers have implied. You know exactly where the story is going at all times, and there’s no real reason to care about what happens to the humans (especially since you know they’re all doomed anyway). But other than that, it’s engrossing to watch, makes you actually care about a talking chimp and his family, thanks to yet another awesome performance by Andy Serkis, and the CG is flawless–among the best ever put to film, if not the best as far as CG characters go. While I enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow more and was more geeked out about Godzilla, this is another fantastic movie in a summer loaded with them.
BRAD: A good sequel to a great franchise. It felt a bit episodic wherein it was a middle story to a greater story. In other words nothing very important happened to propel the story of Caesar significantly. He basically learned that not every human is bad and also that not every ape is good. I feel like the franchise could go in many more different directions and hope it does. Serkis and the other mo-cap actors bring the technology to a higher ground and I feel like they are finally bridging the gap between a special effect and an actor. This film had great action but was lackluster in the human acting. I wish Gary Oldman hammed his character more like he is more prone to. He was very reserved and under-utilized in this movie.
BRAD: Speaking of those ape mid-wives, were they wearing face masks made of twigs? What was that about?
BRIAN: Yeah that was just silly. Just to make sure the audience fully understood that they were they medical apes.
BRAD: How were they “medical” anyway? it’s not like they had instruments or did they use sticks as forceps or something? Did they go to Ape Nursing school? And I appreciate the face-mask concept but a bunch of sticks ain’t doing jack-shit.
BRIAN: You’d think the apes would have found some medical supplies by going around searching buildings and stuff. Like that 76 gas station probably had to have Band-Aids and Tylenol.
BRAD: It took the apes 2 minutes to figure out how to aim and fire a machine gun but Tylenol and bandages are way over their heads.
BRIAN: Another thing, shouldn’t the first one have been called Dawn and this one Rise? The next one will be Gibbous Moon of the Planet of the Apes. Or Gibbon Moon.
BRAD: The title always bothered me from the get-go. Dawn and Rise are the same damn thing! But Gibbous Gibbon Moon of the Planet of the Apes SHOULD be the next title.
BRIAN: I think of dawn like something is just happening, like a new day, and rise as something that has already happened and is getting bigger, like a wiener.
BRAD: Technically speaking you’re correct. Dawn is that brief moment of twilight before the sun appears. So essentially, the sun rising is after the dawn. All I know is the titles are getting dumber. And I’m sick of saying two “of the” in the titles.
Coming Soon: Time of the Season of the Best of the Best of the Raiders of the Lost Ark of the Way of the Gun of the Children of the Corn of the Attack of the Clones of the Clash of the Titans of the Planet of the Apes.
Brian’s Score: 8.5 monkeyshines (out of 10) Brad’s Score: 7.5 ape midwives (out of 10)