DETROIT (WWJ) – At the conclusion of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” I could finally breathe easy. That’s because for the entire film, I was filled with suspense – practically sitting on the edge of my seat – in anticipation of what was to come next.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a magnificent follow-up to 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” It tells the story of the relationship between a nation of genetically evolved apes and the human survivors of a devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. Neither knows for sure of the other’s existence until a few humans venture away from their home – a ravaged San Francisco – and end up stumbling upon the apes’ habitat across the bridge in Muir Woods.

When the two sides come face-to-face, each is faced with difficult decisions. Can they trust one another? Can both sides co-exist?

Leading the apes is Caesar, who – in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – was raised by humans. Because of his upbringing but also because of his loyalty to the apes, he is conflicted, leading to tension among the ranks. When Caesar tries to work with the humans, Koba, a bonobo (chimpanzee) who was first introduced in “Rise” – has other ideas.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” has lots of things going for it, not the least of which is an excellent storyline that’ll tug at your heartstrings in more ways than one. I highly recommend it for fans of the original Planet of the Apes series, anyone who saw and enjoyed “Rise,” and for moviegoers new to the franchise.

If you’re looking for a film that combines all of the above with superb special effects, this is definitely a movie to see.

Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-McPhee, Enrique Murciano and Kirk Acevedo. Directed by Matt Reeves.

Rated PG-13.

See you at the movies!

Check out the picture below (click the photo to enlarge) for a sneak peek at how some of the amazing special effects are carried out:


Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee


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