“Planet of the Apes” franchise nearly 50 years in the making. It’s spawned 2 television series, comic, book, video games, and 8 films with one more to come. One has to ask themselves what is it about this franchise that keeps audiences coming back especially in this day and age of horrific reboots and cliche regurgita? It’s because throughout every outlet it’s come across the planet of the ape franchise asks that fundamental question that’s always lingered in the backs of our minds: what separates us from the animals we classify as savages? As the dominant species human beings tend to believe that we’re invincible and although fictional, this film reminds us of how fragile our place at the top of the food chain is. And in this world where trust, loyalty, and power are key issues, the newest installment in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise mirrors the very essence of human nature.
We meet Caesar, our ape friend from the previous film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” ten years after the “semien flu” outbreak. He’s not only thriving in his jungle compound with his fellow apes but has gracefully grown into his role as their leader. His character is one who is both strong and decisive while being compassionate and understanding. He is the epitome of what a leader should be and it is through his eyes that we experience a range of emotions that transcend human and ape. The fact that it manages to do so while wrapped in a world of CGI and other special effects speaks volumes to the performance of Andy Serkis his fellows thespians. Their performances will help audiences become invested in these various interwoven destinies that we can identify in our own reality as well.
One who should also be applauded for his work on this film is director Mark Reeves without whom this ship that is the shockingly great reboot might not have sailed. He directed the film in such a way that audiences will not only immerse them into the experience but also poses the question: are we any better than the “beasts” at our door? Overall the film, more so than any other in the franchise “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” will make audiences see their reflection in the characters and situations on screen.