So the problem here is that the movie is a complete dog.
There are 101 reasons why the film is terrible but the overarching blame must rest on the ‘found footage’ gimmick that is applied in such a slip-shod fashion that whenever it is highlighted it knocks you out of the film as you wonder ‘who was holding that camera?’, ‘how are we watching footage from that camera when it just got sucked into a fire tornado?’ or ‘if I was just about to drown would I really be filming a video diary?’ etc.
The word ‘conceit’ looms large here in big flashing lights but, perversely, this is the only movie I’ve watched in the past couple of years where I kept wishing it was in 3D… because if ever something should have been a fairground ride it was this one.
There’s plenty to like about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. From the genre building blocks and Kong iconography, the well staged action scenes and the numerous character parallels, all playing out within a story that remains engaging despite the inevitability of it all. But what’s really impressive is the simple patience on display. The opening, signed and subtitled section introducing us to the apes and their culture, slowly building the apes’ abilities and our acceptance. The emotional rediscovery of lost images. The Weight. The step back into darkness.
Here is a film that takes it’s time and rewards you with monkeys and machine guns.
I saw it in 3D and I can’t see that it added much but there were a couple of moments that jarred. The most obvious was when a character was searching in a room and the deep focus allowed a box in the foreground to be in focus. The focus foreshadowed that the box would contain what the character was looking for but it didn’t. It just seemed for a moment that no choices were being made and the scene was a little lost.