So the fourth movie in the franchise picks up about eighteen years after the original, a future in which Apes are used as slave labour and the government has a whole scary “big brother” thing going on. One of the details I appreciate in this movie is the explanation of how the apes became slaves. They briefly explain that all dogs and cats went extinct due to a mysterious virus, and so people began using monkeys as replacement pets, and once they started to see how intelligent and easily trainable they were, it wasn’t long until they began exploiting them for labour. And as the need for labour grew, monkey servants were replaced by ape slaves. It’s simple enough, but makes a lot of sense, and it’s a part of the story you can instantly understand without a lot of need for explanation. Anyway, the son of Zira and Cornelius is not a grown ape named Caesar, and has been living in Ricardo Montalban’s creepy circus and hiding his ability to talk. Eventually, Caesar ends up in captivity, spends some time being treated shittliy by people, and eventually leads an ape rebellion against the humans. It’s basically the exact plot from Rise of the Planet of the Apes. You know, I actually really like this one. This late into the series and with the such rapidly declining quality of sequels, it’s hard to believe that the fourth one would be this good. I would call it the best one after the original. It’s really great to see the beginning of the world we see in the first one, and it does a good job of setting up that universe. In the original movie, the protagonist is human, and the apes are the bad guys pretty much the whole movie, but seeing how badly humans treated apes just before their uprising kind of makes you sympathize with Dr. Zaius. I also like the setting. Although it only took place twenty years into the future, they create an interesting and unique society, and the government is one that you can totally see being the guys to accidentally blow up the statue of liberty. It’s a deeper exploration of the ideas that were implies by the end of the first movie, and it’s done really well. I can see why they chose this story to tell when rebooting the franchise. But what really sets this movie apart from the second and third movie is that it doesn’t use exactly the same plot structure as the original. It actually tells its own story with its own beats, and it’s super refreshing. It has a really good tone, I like the selective use of music, and the pacing is excellent, but the highlight of the movie is at the end when the apes and humans finally go to war with each other. It’s like the entire franchise built up to this direct battle between the species and it’s so awesome to watch. The only really bad thing I can say about this movie is that it hasn’t aged super well. Some of the effects and acting are pretty corny, and it’s kind of hard to take seriously when the futuristic setting is the year 1991. But you can’t really hold any of that against them, I mean it was the seventies.
Overall Rating: Kinda fucking epic/10