Ever since seeing their teasers during the Super Bowl, I’ve been debating which movie will be my chosen blockbuster to see this summer. Transformers: Age of Extinction or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (such a mouthful for a title, isn’t it)?
Really, there’s no debate. The Transformers movies can really get you salivating as you watch the fast, million dollar cars zoom across the screen and transform into super advanced robotic extraterrestrial beings with big guns, somehow finding a way to defeat the evil Decepticons, who “always get the good shit.” Optimus Prime conveniently showing up late every time shit gets real (probably messing around with some “Autobot thot”). However, as soon as you buy the DVDs or watch the movies on network television, you realize just how bad they really are.
*Note to FX: when you decide to do DVD on TV, avoid using movies that are already three freaking hours long! I didn’t bother to watch Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen when it was released in theaters, so, my first experience with it was when it aired on FX’s DVD on TV, and I thought it would never end!*
Although I loved Transformers, the second and third films did not have the same effect on me. I didn’t like Revenge of The Fallen at all; The Fallen only got two seconds of airtime! The most anticipated villain, more diabolical than Megatron, and he gets only two seconds in a three hour movie?! *pulls out hair* The beginning to Dark of the Moon got me excited, and I loved the highway chase, but after purchasing the DVD, I quickly realized I was more in love with Steve Jablonsky’s original score than I was the actual film itself.
So it came to no surprise that I let June 27th quietly pass by, but on July 11th, I sped out of the parking lot after work and nearly got run off the highway by a minivan, just trying to catch the next showing of Dawn of Apes. My thoughts . . .
Dawn of Apes was everything I’d expected and more! Caesar has evolved into a wise leader who the other apes all but worship. His top priority is to protect the home he and the the other apes have built. No humans allowed!
One problem I always had with the Transformers franchise was that the title characters, the transformers, had supporting roles in the movies, at best. Not the case in Dawn of Apes. There was an even balance between the all-human and all-ape scenes, and when they clashed, CLIMACTIC!
One ape that caught my attention in Rise… was Koba. What happened to his face? What was he really asking for when he stuck his hand out for the cookie? Did he intentionally infect Franklin? As Jacobs held on for dear life on the edge of the bridge, why did he say, “Not you,” when Koba approached the wrecked helicopter? If you had the same questions, you definitely learn more about him in this film. Honestly, after a few scenes, I could see where Koba’s character was headed. It was a slight disappointment, but it didn’t take away from the film.
There was never a dull moment or unnecessary scene in this movie, unlike the Transformers films (They desperately need to fire their entire editing team for not doing their jobs). There was tension throughout. When Malcolm goes back to the ape conquered colony to get Ellie’s medical kit, trying to avoid being caught by the apes who are causing chaos all around, I was damn near eating my bottom lip.
One last difference about the two films is that Dawn of Apes knew where to end. You could sense there was a final battle brewing, a battle from which a dominant species would emerge; however that battle was not shown in this film. Maybe it’ll happen in the next film or just before the next film starts. I’m just glad it didn’t happen here because that would’ve been too much. We don’t have to see everything. I like movies that leave me wondering after they have ended. Not a cliff hanger, but an ending that’s open for interpretation.
Some iconic lines from the film that sent chills down my back included:
- Caesar— (to trespassing humans) “GOOOOOOOO!!!!”
- Dreyfus— “That’s a whole lot more than 80 apes.”
- Caesar— “Ape home! Human home! Do not come back.”
- Caesar— “I said no guns.”
- Koba— (pointing to various scars on his arms, torso, and face) “Human work. Human work. Human work!”
- Caesar— “Humans taught Koba hate.” (I love this line. It kind of alludes to agitated history between the races in America. Europeans/whites taught Africans/blacks hate. OK, that might not be the best analogy, but you catch my drift.)
- Caesar— “War has already began. Ape started war, and human will not forgive.”
If you’re facing the same dilemma as I was, although I did not watch Transformers 4 and cannot honestly tell you how good or bad it is, I strongly advise you go see Dawn of Apes. You will not be disappointed.