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Dawn of Planet of the Apes – will the Gorillas have trigger discipline?

Dystopian and post-apocalyptic subjects are finally replacing the last several years of zombie immersion, which is a Good Thing in my book. Fascination with ‘the end and what comes after’ has been the focus of storytellers and humanity writ large for a loooong time – remember H.G. Wells? Orwell’s cacotopia? The cause is rarely as important as the effect. Doesn’t matter whether the end was due to a single cataclysmic event or just came about as the inevitable result of slow, grinding decay, dystopia will  always be a compelling topic for those of us with “first world problems”. Last night during The Walking Dead many people saw a new teaser from the latest dystopian/post-apocalyptic movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

I say many people rather than we because I wasn’t one of them. I’ve long since given up on Walking Dead. I never got over Rick’s bucket holster.

Dawn takes place several years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and is due for release soon. A band of humans who survived the Simian Plague, including Oldman and Jason Clark, are pitted against the burgeoning civilization of apes in a fight to see which species will inherit the earth. Most of the movie takes place in and around either future San Francisco or current Detroit, and both sides are fairly well armed (presumably thanks to the pre-arrest efforts of Leland Yee). The humans remember their glory days and know they’re likely on their way out, so they’re desperate. The apes embrace both education and violence as a means to an end and have no inclination to return to their cages. Nuanced dialogue, innuendo and quotations in large, bold fonts on the movie posters seem to hint they have evolution on their side as well.

This is the new teaser.

The movie definitely has potential, though one might wonder about casting Angela Kerecz (who will also be in such forthcoming blockbusters as Shark Exorcist) alongside a heavyweight like Gary Oldman. Still, it has overgrown cities, ruined cars, torchlight, Andy Serkis and ape cavalry* with M4s, so there’s that.

This is the first trailer, which focuses mostly on the human side of things. Hopefully that’ll change as we get closer to the release date. I’m looking forward to this movie almost as much as I’m dreading it. Then again, I really want to see a lion-talked macaque do work on those survivors with a DDM4ISR and one of my very first heroes in life was Astronaut George Taylor. So I’m biased.

*edit – to answer one of the concerns expressed on Facebook, no horses were harmed in the filming of the ape cavalry. The gorillas ride clydesdales and percherons after spraypainting them black to make them tactical.

Don’t know what the Simian Flu is?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on IMDB.