War for the Planet of the Apes is hitting theatres this summer, and it is no monkey business!
Despite all these years, I can still vividly remember one of the climax scenes from the original Charlton Heston starrer, Planet of the Apes. I was a kid back then, but the sight of an utterly decimated Statue of Liberty from the finale had this bizarre depressing effect on me which lingered on for days. It wasn’t just the shot itself, it was the notion that dumb humans co-existing with their advanced simian cousins as the dominant species was a little too peculiar for my impressionable self.
My dad was kind enough to answer my curiosity with a simply yet a highly appropriate answer; monkeys ruling over our kind is a potential future outcome, if we don’t get it together. He hit the nail right on the head, because Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel La Planète des Singes – which was the basis for the film – was crafted on the theme that human intelligence is not a fixed quality and could atrophy if taken for granted.
Ending up as a slave to a master monkey turned out to be one of my parents’ favourite threats and to be perfectly honest, it did work most of the time. Anyway, back to the Planet of the Apes, which was both a commercial and a critical success; it ended up spawning a whole media franchise including films, books, television series, video games and comics about a world in which humans and intelligent apes clash for control.
The third installment of the recently rebooted franchise is about to hit the theatres this summer and if you ask me, it is no monkey business either. The reboot series has Caeser (Andy Serkis), a genetically enhanced chimp raised in a human household, as the protagonist and following the last outing where he survives a coup, he is still in charge of the simian race in this installment.
Set two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar finds himself embroiled in a war against the humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson) and you can’t blame him for starting this fight either.
“I did not start this war. I fight only to protect the apes,”
He also proves his honesty by later claiming that he presented the humans with the choice of peace and mercy, but the colonel declined.
“You talk about mercy,” he says. “No matter what you say, you’d eventually replace us. That’s the law of nature.”
So you can be pretty sure of the stakes and how important this clash is to the continuation of humans as the dominant species.
From how things are panning out in the trailer, the film is all set to delve deep into colonel’s psyche almost as much as Caesar’s, and we should be ready for plenty of drama in addition to the – by the looks of it – spectacular action set-pieces.
In a fascinating sub-plot, the promo also features Nova (Amiah Miller), a young girl who befriends the apes. The adult version of Nova was played by Linda Harrison in the original 1968 Planet of the Apes.
War for the Planet of the Apes is slated to open mid- July.
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