Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2014)

What's it about? 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (ROTPOTA), super-smart chimp Caeser and fellow apes have established a community in the forests outside San Francisco. But their peaceful existence is threatened when human survivors of the global simian flu enter their territory.

Is it any good? If ROTPOTA was a furry version of Spartacus, this is a furry version of X-Men: First Class. Caeser takes the Professor X role, urging that his genetically altered companions live in peace with humans. His friend Koba is the Magneto-esque character, tortured by humans in his youth, now hell-bent on destroying them. Which was fine with me, incidentally, because the humans on display here are underwritten, wooden characters in comparison to the apes - obviously they haven't evolved to be interesting since their similarly dull predecessors in ROTPOTA. So it's up to the apes to keep the attention, which they do, with some nicely observed 'natural' moments of ape interaction mixed in with some crowd-pleasing stunts and action. Once again, it's a testament to the superb motion-capture performances and CGI that this always looks and feels utterly real, yes, even when it's a gun-toting chimp on horseback attacking a tank (which didn't quite trump ROTPOTA's gorilla-attacking-a-helicopter moment, but was nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable). Overall, it's not quite as good as ROTPOTA, but it does enough to keep the interest for another round of monkey business.

Anything else I should know? I got my copy of this film from a street dealer in return for a packet of KP nuts. It's true what they say; you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

What does the Fonz think? X-Chimp: Furred Ass

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