Humankind is so screwed.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel to 2011’s surprisingly strong reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, picks up the story of intelligent ape Caesar (played by Andy Serkis through motion-capture), who was last seen heading into Muir Woods with an army of simian followers after stunning former keeper Will Rodman (James Franco) by speaking in his presence for the first time.
15 years later, a virus has wiped out most of the human population, and the survivors scavenge for survival in small groups, avoiding the dominant apes. Caesar is still in charge and has proven himself as a ruthless tactician. Oh, and in 10 new images from the film released today, we can see that Caesar’s army now knows how to ride horses and wield shotguns.
Despite that highly discouraging development, Caesar and his apes still face conflict from a group of human survivors, led by a man named Dreyfus (Gary Oldman). Though the groups establish a delicate peace, tensions remain high and threaten to spill over into all-out war at any moment.
The new images, which you can check out below, give us our first clear look at the apes, rendered through motion capture and extensive special effects work. Clearly, the laborious processes were worth it – these apes look breathtakingly lifelike and are definitely a step up from the already terrific apes made from Rise. We see an ape army on the move, Caesar with war paint, a very angry ape with a shotgun and a bevy of other simian characters. The images also showcase Oldman’s character, who is bent on wiping out the apes, and other members of the group of survivors, including characters played by Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Keri Russell, and more.
With the release of these images and a trailer late last month, I’m completely on board with this sequel. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) has experience blending agonizing tension with strong character-focused storytelling, so my expectations are quite high. Whether or not it will measure up to its predecessor remains to be seen, but this film is certainly gearing up to be one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives on July 11.
Source: The Playlist