“Franchise Retrospective: The Planet of the Apes”

When Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out expectations weren’t high. Nobody was expecting this to start a new franchise. Andy Serkis’s work as Caesar is a masterclass on motion capture. You feel every emotion flow through him. Serkis is a big reason these films do so well. With rave reviews and good box office Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was green lit and was even better than Rise. Rupert Wyatt and Matt Reeves both did a great job behind the camera for the first two films. With Reeves coming back to wrap up the trilogy, it’s hard not to expect greatness. 

‘Rise’ was a story about family. Will (James Franco) tries to balance taking care of his father who suffers from Alzheimer’s and developing a breakthrough brain enhancing substance. Will’s inspiration is his father. He wants to eventually use this on his father who’s been suffering. While working on these Apes, they learn Blue Eyes has a baby Ape, who is named Caesar later by Will. After taking him in and raising him, Caesar ends up in the hands of animal control, which helps build his character even more. Watching Caesar bond with the other Apes and become a leader to them in such a short time shows how strong he is. The Apes are out for revenge on the humans who have wronged them for so long. We’re lead to the Golden Gate Bridge, where an epic battle takes place. 

The action set piece on the Golden Gate Bridge is incredible. Watching the Apes wreck everything in sight was a sight. The ultimate revenge takes place when Buck tosses Jacob’s helicopter off the bridge into the water. How this film ends is truly heartwarming. Will and Caesar share a moment when Caesar tells him that he’s home with the Apes, and Will finally realizes thats where Caesar belongs. 
‘Dawn’ was even better. It’s more of a war movie, the last act is practically all action. Reeves directs some of the best sequences you saw in that given year. 

You have that story between Koba and Caesar. There’s a civil war brewing between the two. Koba believes Caesar cares about humans more than Apes. With that story, and the war brewing between the humans and the apes, it made for a compelling movie. 

With War for the Planet of the Apes being released this week, how do you think the franchise will wrap up?

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