Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

I didn’t like this movie. There. I said it. Everyone else in the world liked this movie, but I did not. I thought it was earnest and joyless and pretended to be about Serious Issues while not having anything to say about them. Short version: monkeys live in Marin, humans live in San Francisco, and things go south when humans cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently Godzilla’s attack earlier this summer destroyed the power grid or something, and the humans, led by the torture guy from Zero Dark Thirty (2012) know where they can find a hydro-electric dam.

The whole planet is overrun by Jews! I mean Apes! The whole planet is overrun by Apes!

The whole planet is overrun by Jews! I mean Apes! The whole planet is overrun by Apes!

Anyway, I went with my sister, and she LOVED IT. She thought it was the best talking-monkey movie ever. After the movie, we had a discussion that went like this:

Erik: It took itself very seriously for a talking-monkey movie.

Lisa: It tackled some serious issues. In a compelling way.

Erik: I don’t want my talking-monkey movies to tackle serious issues. I want campy fun. I want chase scenes and quotable lines and mute girls in fur bikinis.

Lisa: These are serious times, and once in a while it wouldn’t kill you to negotiate bigger issues, Mr. Beach Movie Brady Bunch Saved by the Bell.

Erik: This is why we have independent cinema and foreign films. Hollywood just embarrasses itself when they attempt to deal with Deep Social Issues n’ Stuff. Like when they make a movie about social organization and all the important speeches come out of the mouth of a TALKING MONKEY.

Lisa: Well, they’re more intuitive than us. They’re ANIMALS.

Erik: Great, next we can discuss the 3D version of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract starring a cast of talking penguins.

Amazingly, she let me have the last word. To sum up, the movie is sort of compelling, has great 3D effects, and hardly any scenes with raging antisemite Gary Oldman. On the other hand, there’s no Charlton Heston to tell the monkeys to take their stinking paws off him, the score couldn’t hold a candle to the Jerry Goldsmith score from the first Planet of the Apes (1968), and Keri Russell as the love interest is no Linda Harrison as Nova, if ya know what I mean (I mean she’s not hot and remains fully clothed). So I didn’t go ape over this movie, but you can feel free to spend your hard earned monkey if you want (rimshot).

Overall Score: 75

Letter Grade: B