Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has ramped up their hype machine in recent weeks, particularly in the last few days.
We were privy to a new poster which revealed Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his ape crew (played by Toby Kebbell,Terry Notary, Judy Greer and Karin Konoval) rallying towards war on horses. Even better than a poster is a new TV spot featuring a bear fight. Let’s analyze the poster and the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes TV spot and see what we can glean from them.
Firstly, the poster – if it could talk – doesn’t really say a lot except for “RAAAH!” What else do you need when you have Caesar in front of a broken Golden Gate Bridge charging up his troops on horseback with what looks like an AK-47?
If there’s anything that can be taken from the poster as far as “digging deeper” goes, it’s that the poster seems to be giving us an idea of what Battle for the Planet of the Apes could have been. In this writer and Planet of the Apes superfan’s opinion, Battle for the Planet of the Apes is pretty bad. It’s a film geared towards children, yes, but even still, it’s childish, meandering, long and getting way more into the Little House on the Prairie trend (a trend that was strong during the 1970s) than it needed to. Even when you finally get to the battle between the humans and apes, the battle is drawn out as less of a set piece than it was built up to be.
The theme of Battle for the Planet of the Apes-redux is even stronger in the new TV spot, but coupled along with that is a mysterious sense of Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
On the surface, it would seem that Dawn is more like Battle than anything else, but the sense of a human resistance is also deeply rooted in Beneath, which has a group of mutated humans who worship one of the nuclear bombs that changed them into monsters. The mutated humans and apes wage war – one last battle for supremacy – even though Zira and Cornelius warn against it.
The humans in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes aren’t mutated by nuclear warfare, but they are changed – they’re the lone survivors of the Simian Flu, so they are simultaneously hardened by their experiences while still dealing with the aftermath of humanity’s downfall. Some of them are also ready to fight one last battle for the planet. This is shown especially when Gary Oldman’s character Dreyfus says he wants to “kill every last one of them.” So what will happen in this war, when the apes already have AK-47s? What big weapon could the humans have that could top that? Who knows – the question is all conjecture anyway. But there’s some big parts of the film the promotion is wisely leaving out.
What do you think about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Will you watch it when it comes to theaters July 11? Talk about it in the comments section below!
Image: 20th Century Fox