As fearsome creatures go, apes with bad attitudes are right up there.

Make those apes intelligent, plentiful and determined to fight for their right to freedom and you have an intimidating group of adversaries.

Following The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), the sequel finds the humans left on Earth struggling for survival after a man-made virus has killed billions of people around the globe.

The apes, which escaped from captivity in the original movie, have now made themselves a home in the forest outside San Francisco and are happy to leave alone the humans in the city. Led by the human-raised chimp Caesar, they have a good existence.


Everything changes when the humans encounter the apes in the forest while making their way to a dam that is crucial to their ability to make power.

The apes have a deep-seated hatred and mistrust of humans but Caesar knows some can be trusted.

Caesar and human leader Malcolm (Jason Clarke) tread a somewhat diplomatic path to allow both their needs to be met.

They have a mutual understanding and empathy for the situation they find themselves in.

Both also have to deal with renegade elements who want to resort to violence to rid themselves of their perceived enemies.

When ape Koba shoots Caesar and pins the blame on humans, war and anarchy draw ever nearer.

It is up to Malcolm and an ailing Caesar to find a way forward.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is two-and-a half hours of action and adventure, and has a good storyline to carry it through.

It moves the narrative along nicely from the first movie and leaves it all open for a third effort down the track.

Watch the trailer here: