Three years after the release of War for the Planet of the Apes, people are still undervaluing this film and the trilogy it is a part of.
I’m not totally sure why, but when discussing the greatest trilogies in the history of film, Apes is rarely mentioned. Of course, it has a hard time living up to the staples of the conversation such as The Lord of the Rings and the original Star Wars trilogy, but as a unit, Apes surpasses other popular choices like Indiana Jones, Toy Story, or The Godfather.
From Rise to Dawn to War, the series just improves. There aren’t many trilogies which can sustain such a level of quality with each installment.
But what makes Apes so perfectly suited to today’s world is its themes and filmmaking style. Director Rupert Wyatt began the series with Rise, which was a perfectly fun summer blockbuster. While it doesn’t dive too deeply into any specific themes or messages, it is able to set upshot will come later on in the series.
It also explores a global pandemic and how humans may react to such a thing.
By Dawn, we find out that humans were not able to band together to find a cure for the Simian Flu. Instead, they spent so much time quarreling amongst themselves that the flu wiped out almost all of human existence. It kind of resembles something we see going on right now, doesn’t it?
Along with the prediction of a pandemic, Dawn specifically then begins to deal with racism, or the idea of the “other.” Now that apes are becoming a predominant and intelligent life force on earth, the humans have to deal with the ramifications. Much like the history of humankind, man is unable to peacefully deal with this new development. Instead they feel threatened that another being may have similar intelligence.
It’s interesting to look into these ideas. Ever since 1968 with the release of the original Planet of the Apes, the series has been exploring ideas relating to intelligence and evolution. These things go hand in hand and make up what is and will continue to be a perfectly poignant modern trilogy.