Toby Kebbell as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

My Favorite Scene: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) “Monkey See; Monkey Shoot”

Every hero needs a villain.  The strength of the hero is shown in the vileness of the villain he has to overcome.  One of the reasons Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was twice as good as Rise of Planet of the Apes was that Caesar had his very own Brutus in Toby Kebbell’s Koba.
Toby Kebbell as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I think I’ve probably written at least five articles on what a miracle Andy Serkis is and what started with Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, has become a completely new way to act.  Mo-cap acting is the last bridge between what we can imagine and what can make it on to the screen.  We know how great Serkis is at this; what is important now is that he teach an entire generation of actors how to excel at this and a perfect example is Toby Kebbell.

Kebbell is a really fine actor, but I’ve never seen him do anything nearly as good as his performance in Dawn as Caesar’s right-hand ape turned traitor: Koba.  If Andy Serkis wasn’t as astonishing as he was, Kebbell would have stolen this movie.  Caesar never wants the war, despite how he was treated by humans; he’s forgiven.  Koba’s scars are more prominent literally and philosophically and he begins the process of sabotaging Caesar’s leadership and any chance for co-habitation between apes and humans with this brilliant bit of clowning turned cold-blooded murder.  This Friday, we’ll get the conclusion of this reboot trilogy in War for the Planet of the Apes, and it looks like Woody Harrelson’s Colonel is going to be Caesar’s new nemesis, but he’s got a tough act to follow.
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5 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) “Monkey See; Monkey Shoot””

  1. I really hope they finish this trilogy on a high note. I was expecting nothing out of Rise, and I was blown away, and I have to say that Serkis was maybe 65% to 70% of what made that movie work. He was like the Micheal Corleone of mo-cap apes. His transformation was so believably incremental. It was subtle. There was a psychology behind it. Back when Tim Burton made his (wonderful and woefully underrated) POTA remake, he did not want to go the CGI route, because the whole point was that the apes were humans in makeup, but the days of those distinctions are soooo far in the distant past.

    My only complaint is that Rise of the Planet of the Apes should have been called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and vice versa.

    Dawn was incredible too, and as you’ve pointed out, once again it was the apes who made the movie. The dynamic between the two leads (because let’s face it, the movie belonged to them, not to any of the humans) was fascinating and tense and just… I absolutely love it.

    I just hope this third one wraps things up. I’m not so naive as to think they won’t be leaving the door open for more, but I want the story to end on a satisfactory note as well.

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    1. Well we know Matt Reeves is off to write and direct a noirish/detective driven The Batman with Affleck and Serkis to finish his Jungle Book, so if there is more, it won’t involve them, at least not for awhile. Reeves is quietly becoming one of my favorite directors.

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      1. I am worried about The Batman. My fear is that Affleck does not care anymore. If you look at his short history with the DCEU, the way he looked heartbroken doing the press tour for BvS, the way he started to hedge when he talked about the solo film, then the way he exited as director, and the way his script was tossed… it all happened incrementally, and could be interpreted as evidence of his slowly waning interest in the project. It’s also possible WB does not want him behind the camera anymore, because he made a collosal bomb for them recently. I put nothing past the miscalculators at WB. WW does not change my mind about them. I saw it again today (I wanted to see SM or Apes but the female friend I was with won out) and liked it even better the second time, but the JL trailer they showed baffled me. The trailer was the coolest, most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life, and the movie it was hawking looked terrible. How is that for an enigma? Points for using the song “Come Together,” but at present time I am faithless, and I feel like the DCEU will not be able to deliver consistently until Snyder has been purged. And even then, the suits will be the same. I don’t believe The Batman will be a detective movie, it will be an overproduced mess, and all that will fall on the director will be to make the best of it.

        Sorry for the cynicism. WW is incomparably wonderful.

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