In “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the by now familiar story of a post-apocalyptic world takes a surprising turn into the territory of gun control.
Director Matt Reeves tells a stunning tale about a difficult struggle to control The Gun — set against an otherwise visually stimulating but boring, slow and predictable tale of ignorant humans who caused the apocalypse, because science.
The opening sequence is in keeping with post-apocalyptic stories — a montage of news reports and a map of a spreading virus wiping out most of humanity.
For a few minutes of apparently post-human bliss, we see a world without guns. Caesar has grown up since the franchise opener, and now reigns in Muir Woods. In Caesar’s world, animals live in wooden shacks and write on cave walls with mud and commit organic violence against each other.
But The Gun is at work elsewhere, just beneath the surface of a human colony in San Francisco. When a quest for electricity leads the humans right into Caesar’s territory, The Gun wields its seemingly all-powerful head, and the stage is set for an epic struggle between its power to turn sane people into violent maniacs, and the brave leaders of the post-apocalyptic world.
One crew feigns trust in the bonds of peace, but stockpile and ready The Gun in case war breaks out. Caesar tries to control The Gun by confiscating as much of The Gun as possible and throwing it into the river, and then banning the rest of The Gun from his kingdom. Others try to use The Gun to carry out a plan of revenge at any cost.
The Gun can turn seemingly sane people into crazy maniacal lunatics. The Gun corrupts bonds of peace and consistently ruins surprising and infinitely touching moments of inter-species bonding that bridge time and genetic space. The Gun causes war.
Can The Gun be stopped?
The stunning visuals, crazy CGI and epic “Lion King”-inspired battle between patriarchs are brilliant and fun, but this is the very serious question Reeve’s asks and attempts to answer in ‘Planet of the Apes.’
The film smashes its 2011 predecessor, and is definitely a must-see.
Watch the trailer here.