The Costs of Intelligence “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”


Like  I said in my last post, my internship is getting really hectic since there is a little less than a month left. I’ve been coming home from work less enthusiastic about doing the things I really want to do as a result and this blog/site has kind of suffered from it. For the people who actually care to read this, I apologize. 

But since it’s the weekend and work isn’t school, I’ve definitely had some time to enjoy myself. For the past couple of days I’ve binged watched East Los High on Hulu, caught up on all of the manga I read, and have started reading Berserk, which is frankly amazing. Today I also got a chance to go see the new Planet of the Apes movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (DotPotA).

I’m never about loading my perception posts with spoilers, but I will say this: DotPotA is one of the best action movies I’ve seen in years. Is there one complete badass who doesn’t take shit from anyone? No. Are there nothing but pulse pounding explosions and warlike effects? No. But as a film lover/maker, film is a medium of visual story-telling (there are exceptions), and any film that tells a solid story in an interesting way, wins. 

And when I rule out those modern action film tropes, I’m not discounting DotPotA as an action film. This IS an action movie. It just happens to be one that situates the action in a story of competing morals based on divergent experiences. Not to mention, what the creators didn’t (COULDN’T) spend on massive explosion effects (there were some) they had to spend on animating hundreds of apes, a few elk, and a bear to amazing results. And in all honesty, if they weren’t able to humanize these highly intelligent apes, this movie would have been an extreme failure. Instead, it was a great success.

Every fight was a fight with high stakes. Camerawork and editing combined to make life or death situations feel like they were life or death. The soundtrack never really overstepped its bounds. The acting rarely felt cheesy. And the apes rarely felt like they were just apes. 

Honestly, I could probably write forever, but I’ll keep it to this: DotPotA makes the claim that human nature isn’t human nature. While our intelligence should keep our violent instincts at bay, it also has serious costs. Grudges, jealousy, premeditated murder, dysfunctional paranoia, etc. All of these plague ape and human alike in this story that’s been told before, but never quite like this.

It’s been out for a for just a few days, but with opening day sales of 27.7 million, and a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I imagine DotPotA will only reach more moviegoers who definitely will not leave disappointed. 

If you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought.