Prior to going to see a sequel and to remind me of the story line I more often than not watch the last film in the series. Most of the time this ends up being a mistake as the sequel never matches up to the last film. As normal before I went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes I watched Rise of the Planet of The Apes. Watching it reminded me how great it was, would the sequel be as good, I seriously doubted it. Well I'm pleased to say that I was wrong as Dawn of the Planet of The Apes is, and I don't say this very often, much better than the first film.

It begins 10 years after Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the apes have escaped to their sanctuary on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The virus that gave the apes their heightened intelligence has now decimated mankind. The only humans left are the ones who are immune to the virus and they are now living in small pockets dotted across the globe. In direct comparison to humans holding onto life by a thread the apes are thriving and living a peaceful existence in the woods, the apes haven't seen any trace of humans for a good number of years. However just as Caesar and the ape community that he leads start to believe that the human race has died out a small band of humans stumble upon the apes’ sanctuary. Led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke) they are looking to restart a hydroelectric dam that just happens to be situated right in the middle of the apes’ forest. Malcolm and his team need the power as the survivors that are left in San Francisco are quickly running out of fuel.

An uneasy truce is brokered between the two sides. However ape and humans we find are not so dissimilar, the apes have the voice of reason in Caesar whilst the humans have it in Malcolm. Each side also have their warmongers in the human leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) and the rebellious ape Koba (Toby Kebbell),who was caged and experimented on by humans and wants nothing more than revenge, each of them believe that the only way to guarantee their own safety is to annihilate the opposition. It's against this background of mistrust that peace between the two species becomes balanced on a knife edge.

Directed by Matt Reeves who gave us Cloverfield and the chilling vampire drama Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will grip you from its thrilling opening to its action packed ending. Such is the similarities between the two species that it becomes difficult to know who is wrong and who is right. The story doesn't take sides and this is what makes the whole thing so exciting as you can see that both sides want the same thing but through ignorance and distrust they are being driven down a road that can bring nothing but tragedy too both sides.

Dawn is nothing short of fantastic and is one of the best, if not the best, films of the year so far. If you like your blockbusters to be both intelligent and moving then this is a film that you shouldn't miss.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (12A)

2h 10m

Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis. Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - "Hanging Out" Clip

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - "Koba" Clip