Screw your webs, guardians, and days of past and/or future. 2014 is all about APES!
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that our generation already has at least ONE excellent Apes movie. Perhap you heard me exalt the PotA series in the past, or maybe heard me close to sobbing during Laser Time’s HATE Pack Commentaries during Tim Burton’s 2001 kick to Bright Eyes’s loincloth? Getting a solid films in the PotA series was hardly a guarantee. These films are coming from 20th Century Fox, after all, a studio who has a reckless modern-day reputation for wiping its ass with the legacy of its most famous franchises in the name of a quick buck (Please DO NOT see A Good Day to Die Hard or AvP: Requiem.) Here, WATCH:
Not only did 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes retain the spirit of the original films, right down to the heavy-handed societal themes, humanity’s arrogance reflected in the eyes of its simian brother, and let’s just go ahead and admit it, awesome looking monkey effects!
In addition to those fine details… Rise and today’s Dawn trailer has made a complete and immediate hypocrite out of me yours truly, the guy who went on record calling all prequels useless horseshit in regards to Fox’s Gotham series trailer.
Yes, I normally hate movie prequels. But that’s what makes Rise and Dawn so interesting: No one definitively knows where these movies take place in the series! They can certainly act as a prequels to the 1968 original, but instead of pulling a George Lucas by handing us a pile of meandering and contradictory footnotes that proclaim “This is how it all started, like it or lump it,” some renegade at Fox has wisely nestled Rise and Dawn rather ambiguously into the timeline where it can serve as a prequel, a canon-bridging iterquel, and a genuine sequel to almost any PotA movie that doesn’t star Marky Mark.
As such, it allows us, the fans, to deliberate for ourselves where these new movies fit within the rest of the series, or outside of it, without ever being wrong or right. And I sincerely hope no one at Fox never provides a conclusive answer. Hey nerds, remember how fun it was to talk about the Zelda canon? You know, before Nintendo went and established a weird ass, official timeline in Hyrule Historia. “Huh…” replied millions of Zelda fans. “I suppose that ends three decades worth of conversation…”
I feel as if I’ve bored folks enough with the details on PotA’s lore before, but let me just say that the original series has a split timeline, and so far, Rise could serve as worthy prequel to both, as well as a potentially excellent reboot set in its own universe. Everything I’ve seen from Rise/Dawn looks as if they’re not in any way concerned with paving the way to the universe of the 1960s, but is still careful not to rule out that possibility. Trailers can be misleading (look no further than the ones for Rise, which made the entire film look like a 90 minute, Bay Area blowout between Man and Monkey), but thankfully, the plot points I can glean from today’s trailer don’t seem to retread anything from the previous films. (FYI, the charmingly awful Battle for the Planet of the Apes already showed the struggles of peaceful species coexistence, itself something of a prequel.)
Instead we see humanity has succumbed to the Franco-virus established in Rise, seemingly teetering at the brink of extinction. From what I can tell by the footage, the interactions with Caesar and his gun-toting, horse-mounted brethren, stem from humans looking to the Apes for help, as they seem immune to the plague, and/or possibly as a distractionary culprit for the plague itself, lead on by a zealous lot desperate for a scapegoat/one last shot at earthly superiority. I don’t know, I refuse to spoil it for myself any further and July can’t come soon enough!
Okay, I’ll shut up, but I can’t fucking wait to see this movie. In case your were interested, you can find links to my favorite Ape shit below.