Overall, I really enjoyed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I liked that the political situation between apes and humans and within each group was complex. Each had their own factions and individuals working within them. Nobody was a mustache twirling bad guy. The intentions of the villain were understandable and occasionally sympathetic. It’s a storyline that could’ve been told without talking apes. Indeed, much of the point of the movie is that the apes and humans really aren’t so different. But I appreciate that they took what could’ve been a straight up action movie and made it smart.
I liked the previous movie in this series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a lot more than I expected. This movie feels like a worthy successor. Not retaining any of the original human case feels like a bold move, but also makes sense. It’s unlikely any of them would’ve survived, and they weren’t really the main characters of the last movie. It’s really all about Caesar.
I would recommend seeing this movie even if you haven’t seen the previous one. Is stands alone well enough that jumping in with it won’t diminish your enjoyment. There are no critical references to the earlier film. So, if you’re looking for something to watch, give Dawn of the Planet of the Apes a try.