The summer movie schedule is often packed with sequels that do not live up to their predecessor’s hype, but hopefully this year will reverse that trend. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the much-anticipated thriller to 2011’s contemporary update, is already being viewed as one of 2014’s great white hopes in terms of sequel enjoyment – but can it live up to such mounting hype?
One of the original’s chief problems was that it faltered when focusing on the human characters, who at times, seemed less-dimensional than their motion-captured counterparts – a complaint our sequel seems to have fixed. As Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ ad campaign hints, this follow-up is going to be more about the ape population, especially Andy Serkis’s Caesar, than the human one.
A new, tense TV spot hints at a darker and deeper story, with Caesar at the helm. The ape leader is on horseback, riding like a invincible dictator, preparing to give the signal to lead his army of genetically evolved apes into battle. There is menace and darkness, as well as a brief moment of light and hope from another character, who may be Cornelia, the female love interest for Caesar voiced by Judy Greer. (The name is clever when you recall that Julius Caesar’s first wife was named Cornelia.)
Further, a great new poster for the film is also now online for your viewing pleasure. On it, a determined Caesar – marked with a line of red paint on his forehead – protects a young primate. The poster foregrounds what could be the heart and the heaviness of the highly anticipated sequel.
It is relieving to see a marketing campaign that genuinely excites without having to reveal a plethora of footage or photos. Clearly director Matt Reeves has learned from his Cloverfield days on how to create anticipation while keeping the audience’s stinking paws off of spoilers.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes roars onto the screen on July 11, 2014. Check out the new TV spot and poster below and let us know what you think.