I’m a pretty big fan of all the Planet Of The Apes movies. There really isn’t a series that so effectively blends commentary of the nature of humanity, humanism, war, death, time travel, and apes as those movies have. It’s a pretty equivocally known fact that no matter what, if you add apes to it’s almost immediately made better. Apes are magical in that way, providing us with an effective metaphor to really talk about ourselves. In the end isn’t that all we are anyway? Just big, smart, hairless apes? Just whatever you do don’t call Apes monkeys. They hate that.
Well since the last Apes film was so successful, (probably because like all the others it was damn awesome), they’re moving forward with a sequel/prequel. The problem is that the original Apes films have a pretty firmly established timeline that ties up all in one big loop perfectly, in an endless cycle of man vs ape until the end of the Earth and back again. It is a timeline that the new Apes film seemed to ignore more or less, canceling out the events from any of the films past Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Don’t get me wrong it was damn great, but it was strange how they seemed to pick and choose aspects of the films to keep, and then change others (The plague originally wiped out all pets, which led to apes being kept as pets/servants, which led to a proto-rebellion, etc etc). I also remember reading somewhere a while ago that the writer of the film wanted the sequel to be “Full Metal Jacket, but with apes!” Which sounds like the greatest goddamned thing I’ve ever heard. There isn’t much actually known about the movie except it takes place 15 years later from the setting of Rise, which hopefully is enough time for us to get some ape troops.
What’s that? I still haven’t mentioned the new star of the new Apes film? Well it’s Jason Clarke; aka this guy:
Well maybe I’m ignorant but I’ve never heard of this guy before in my life. Probably because I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet. I’ve heard good things about it, but that’s neither here nor there. Allegedly he’s a good actor, which is good for the new Apes movie. [Editor’s Note – Jason Clarke was awesome in The Chicago Code]
The other good bit of news is Matt Reeves is directing it, who I thought did a good job with Cloverfield and Let Me In, which were both fine examples of genre directing. If the guy can understand Sci-Fi then I trust this Apes film is in good hands. While the new movie does have some explaining to do, either by retconning details so they line up with the old Apes movie, or at the very least having it be properly established it’s a full on Remake/Reboot rather than the “soft reboot” nonsense they did with the last one. Then we can all just keep ignoring that Tim Burton abortion and get back to seeing these Apes overthrow their human oppressors.