The recent Planet Of The Apes prequel trilogy is probably the most consistently impressive ‘blockbuster’ franchise of the past decade. The movies break the rules far more than they’re generally given credit for, getting progressively more radical as they’ve gone along. This is, after all, a big budget, tentpole franchise where human beings are the bad guys – they’re increasingly presented as brutal, arrogant, cruel and largely deserving of being wiped off the planet.
The three movies have been about the rise of a new civilisation, becoming increasingly confident in having non-human heroes, and that the audience won’t mind siding with the apes against humanity. It’s an oddly radical thing for them to have done. They’ve also become more confident in their moral complexity. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was essentially about an insurgency from the point of view of the insurgents, using the fact that it was apes and humans to hide the fact that its strongest parallels were about America had done in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Read more…]