What a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting much as far as a sequel to a reboot of a beloved classic but "Dawn" is actually a better film than the first. It's a smart script with lots of emotion. The special effects are absolutely breathtaking and the motion capture work is brilliant.
Andy Serkis breathes 100% life into Caesar, the ape leader. The film goes out of its way to show extreme close ups of Caesar as if showing off just what the technology can do. Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman are the human stars in the film. They end up in conflict with the apes when they want to restart electrical power at a dam in the ape's territory.
There are some good action sequences throughout and as I mentioned, the film actually packs an emotional punch. This is a film that deserves to be seen on a big screen. My biggest criticism is that it runs too long. It could have been better edited. Losing fifteen minutes or so would have kept things tighter and possibly more exciting.
With technology advancing with every film, they can keep sequels coming for years although sooner or later the ape/human conflict has to end with the apes winning. After all, it isn't called Planet of the Apes for nothing.