So far it's been a bumpy ride for ape-human relations in the epic Planet of the Apes series. In the third (and reputedly, final) of the reboot instalments (the blistering new trailer for which went live yesterday), the fate of the planet will finally be decided.
The war is coming but which side are you on? We're taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes reboots and state the case as to why we're team ape.
Humans caused this mess in the first place!
Back in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, we see pharmaceutical company Gen Sys testing a drug, which possibly has the power to cure Alzheimers, on monkey test subjects.
After some promising results, the apes also start to demonstrate supreme intelligence, but also some worrying fits of aggression. This leads Gen Sys to declare the drug unfit for human testing, but by that point it is too late, and soon all-out monkey madness ensues as the enraged apes turn against their human captors.
The humans in turn blame the apes for the spreading of the disease known as “Simian Flu”, quickly forgetting that it was their actions which caused this in the first place.
Now this is not to say that the apes are necessarily always in the right with their actions, but they did start out as the innocent party, passive receptors to the drugs administered by the humans, meaning that we can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them.
Apes good, humans bad
Particularly in Rise, the humans are portrayed as selfish and cruel, driven by their own greed with little regard for those they endanger along the way.
Initially at least, the apes are seen as calm, sensitive and intelligent. Had they been left alone and not had their lives meddled in by the humans, things would’ve been very different. One particularly nasty human is Dodge Landon, played by Harry Potter’s Tom Felton. Dodge taunts and teases the apes, torturing them for his own amusement.
It should come as no surprise then that the apes quickly take a violent turn, and whilst perhaps we should be feeling shocked by their actions, we can’t help but secretly cheer them on, particularly when Dodge finally has the tables turned on him. Take your stinking paws off them, you damn dirty human!
Apes, together, strong!
Amidst the human characters we're always sensing a lack of unity. Even before the ape uprising there are quarrels amongst them about the drug trials. Later in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the human groups become fractured as they disagree about how best to tackle the ape army now living on their doorstep.
Amongst the apes however, there is (broadly speaking) a sense of unity. Overall they desire peace, and uphold the values of home and family. Even in Dawn when the malcontented Koba (Toby Kebbell) turns against chief Caesar (Andy Serkis), it isn’t enough to break the bonds of those loyal to him and they end up being stronger than ever.
This might not bode too well for the humans, but is a definite victory if you’re Team Ape!
Humans come and go – but apes last forever
We've already mentioned that the humans in this series are far more fractious and turbulent. Caesar by contrast has transformed from mere ape underling to a commanding and confident leader. Seeing where he ends up in War for the Planet of the Apes as he goes toe to toe with the Colonel (played by Woody Harrelson) will be very interesting.
With the loyal gentle giant orangutan Maurice, and Caesar’s son, Blue Eyes, also remaining constant features in the cast, we’ve come to know and love these apes over the course of the movies so backing them to win the war is an easy choice.
They're absolute badasses
With the slightly primitive use of makeshift spears in Rise, the monkeys proved they were not to be messed with, but it was in Dawn that they really showed what they were capable of.
In one very memorable scene they laid down their attack on the human encampment astride horses and with massive machine guns. Aside from looking absolutely awesome, it also demonstrated that these badass apes are a force to be reckoned with, and also we’re a little bit scared of them so we’ll stay on their good side, thanks!
If that doesn’t convince you, remember baby chimps are super adorable! Now you wouldn’t bet against these cute little critters would you? Altogether now, awww...
It's almost time to take sides. Check out the final War for the Planet of the Apes trailer and get ready to determine the fate of the planet on 14th July.
Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.