War For The Planet Of The Apes

I went to the cinema to see a Planet of the Apes film. It is usual for me to travel to Rochester and I did the same thing for this film. I rated it on the IMDB website and you can read a discussion of how I grade films in this communication.

I wasn’t really sure whether to make this a 4 or a 6. I only went for a six because I thought it better than everything I recorded as a four, but I wasn’t that impressed. I wrote about the previous film here.

This film looked bloody gorgeous. It was beautiful. It was computerised. It was 3D which does fuck all for me. The apes looked great.

Now for the story. It was pretty shit. Maybe I missed loads of deep ape-becomes-man subtext with all the staring shots into Caesar’s eyes and face but I’m not sure. If the director was making large philosophical statements then I missed them. I’m really one for deep and thoughtful metaphors.

This was a slow war. The middle 7/8 of this film was slow and boring. Stuff happened but it didn’t really matter. There’s a virus somewhere. There are humans killing each other and apes because if there’s one thing we do really well it’s killing each other. There’s a prison break out and some stupid comedy. Mostly though, this film didn’t really matter. There wasn’t a meaning in there.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

This was a much better film that Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes which I watched at the weekend and was just not fussed by it. I went to see “Dawn” last night because it was the only thing on at the cinema worth watching and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to spend the time going. It was only after I looked at the IMDB Critics’ Metascore that I decided I would see the film because it had scored 79, which is pretty good.

The animation was stunning. The acting was stunning. I believe ape culture was reproduced accurately. I thought the whole film was a good piece. It showed just what assholes apes and people can be, this film could be attached to any of the trouble spots around the planet at the moment and used as an allegory. The film is worth watching.

This film is really about two groups who know little of each other and how they handle the first encounter. All of the behaviour is brilliantly human. It quickly descends into violence. Just look at human history and what we have done to each other over the years. Overall this is a sad film commenting on how crap humans treat each other.

I had a couple of issues with certain points of the film. I was happy to accept intelligent apes, that’s the main premise. I wasn’t particularly happy with three people being able to get an hydro-electric dam working again after 10 years of non-service. That seemed rather unlikely to me, but it was a minor thing.

I was also rather unsure of Caesar’s final conversation with the man. I felt that Caesar wouldn’t have accepted that war was an inevitable part of the future. It didn’t quite fit with the rest of the film. It was exactly at the point that the two characters needed to stand up and be leaders and organise peace. Two cultures can exists next to each other but there has to be movement and discussion. There is always a need for negotiation. As an example I give you the fact that all the time the IRA were bombing the shit out of the UK in the 1980s the government [we do not negotiate with terrorists] were secretly negotiating with the IRA. It is the only way to make progress, to allow differing cultures to live together. Forgiveness needs to be learnt by all to allow healing and future cooperation.