Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema.
I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,
the sequel to the prequel reboot of the remake of a franchise based on a book by a French
secret agent. This one’s for you, Pierre. Our story takes place on a more palatable, human-free
version of Earth. Now the planet is run by super-smart apes, and the smartest ape of
them all just happens to be the one from the last movie, Caesar. But surprise! There actually
are some humans left, hiding in the last place you’d ever look: right next door. The humans
do what humans do best, stand their ground, and Caesar is not a big fan of the second
amendment. But the humans are desperate to go back to
Apeland so they can get power from the dam — or darn if you don’t like swearing. You
fucking saint, you. The resident age-appropriate white male, Malcolm, strikes up a deal with
Caesar. Caesar will allow Malcolm and his crew to work there as long as they hand over
their guns and don’t try to unionize.Working together, the humans and apes fix the darn,
allowing the humans to finally charge their Kindle Fires. But an ape lieutenant named
Koba hates when storylines progress harmoniously without obstacle, so he shoots Caesar and
blames it on the humans. He leads all the apes to that weird tower the humans live in
for some reason, and before you know it, they’re waged in all-out war horse. Malcolm’s wife Felicity finds Caesar alive
and they take him to a charming fixer-upper in a hip neighborhood. Caesar is worried it’s
out of his price range, so they decide to show him some apartments in the human tower
instead.Unfortunately, Commissioner Gordon sets off a big bomb to try to blow up the
tower. But the bombs don’t really do much, other than make everything shake a little.
Caesar and Koba have a fight over whose name should be on the lease, and Caesar lets Koba
die because, come on dude, all of this would have been fine if you had just cooled your
jets. Malcolm warns Caesar that the military is on its way. They become best friends for
five seconds, then Malcolm runs away like a little scaredy-catherine. And wouldn’t
you know it, here comes a beautiful sunrise. Dawn! Just like the title of the movie! Oh
baby, the twists just keep on coming. One of the central tenets of Dawn of the Planet
of the Apes is that its characters have names. And one of those names is Caesar. This is
a clever nod to the fact that Caesar is the protagonist of the film, much like the manufacturer
of quality Caesar dressing, Paul Newman, often played protagonists in his films. If you really
wanted to reach, you might also say the name is a reference to William Shakeweight’s
Julius Caesar, another character who is metaphorically stabbed in the back and literally falls out
of a tree.The film also explores more nuanced issues, namely technology’s destructive
effect on humanity, so get off your computer and go play outside for Peter’s sake! Or not, who cares. The first act of “Dawn
of” is characterized by an irony: The audience recognizes more humanity in the apes than
they do in the humans. For the first several minutes of the film, we see no people – only
apes, who live in e-harmony with each other and their natural surroundings, kumbayam’lord.
They display idealistic qualities traditionally associated with humanity, such as love and
compassion and full frontal nudity, causing the audience to become emotionally invested
in them. When the humans, with their machines and restrictive
clothing, encounter the apes for the first time, the perverted nature of modern man is
shown in stork contrast. The humans have become so dependent on technology that their very
humanity will disintegrate if they can’t turn on their precious nightlights. The advancements
that were supposed to improve the human way of life have left it weak and vulnerable to
the monsters under
the bed.Moreover, it was mankind’s obsession with scientific progress that led to the creation
of the simian flu in the first place, and knowing humans, they’ll be the first to
take credit. The film suggests that even the purest society can be corrupted by the power
and convenience afforded by sweet tech. The apes begin the film as model citizens,
but quickly abandon the qualities that made their community stable as soon as they gain
access to advanced weaponry. It’s just like my children as soon as they gain access to
space sugar. Can’t be trusted with guns. A wide shot of the ape colony reveals the
message written on a wall: “Ape not kill ape. Apes together strong. Knowledge is….”
And the final word is obscured by two apes lumbering around in the foreground like idiots.
Knowledge is power? Knowledge is college? Knowledge is boring and only for nerds? Maybe
the film is suggesting that knowledge can corrupt just as easily as it can enlighten.
And that the apes are headed down the same road already paved by humans. After all, roads are a two way street. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid.
Ooh ooh. Ah ah.