Early scenes in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are scripted in Advanced Grunt. “Ugh”; “wughh”; “oormph”; helpfully translated by subtitles. But it isn’t long – the saga’s last instalment set up expectation – before apex chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis, furloughing from Gollum), now grown up, talks real words.
San Francisco soon has a raging war between the aspirational apes and the bad backward beasties, matched by a proxy war between good and bad humans. It’s an education fable, accessorised with biffs and bangs in widescreen 3D. Director Matt Reeves brings his best Cloverfield style to the mayhem – in your face and then some – though the film dies a death each time any character, human or simian, is allowed more than two minutes for dialogue delivery.