The Final Trailer for 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Looks Like 'Rogue One' With Monkeys

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 11:07AM
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 11:07AM
The Final Trailer for 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Looks Like 'Rogue One' With Monkeys
We're going to level with you—the headline here could have easily been "'War for Planet of the Apes' Trailer Packed With *Guerrilla* Warfare," but we're not going to lower ourselves to that kind of punning. Instead, what struck us about the last trailer for War for Planet of the Apes was how much it reminded us of the gritty, pseudo-war movie aesthetic that Gareth Edwards was swinging for in Rogue One: a scrappy, determined resistance, moral gray areas, and the subtle threat of becoming the very monsters you're fighting. Check it out! 



So the trailer has its exciting action sequences on full display, because chimps holding shotguns never stops being awesome (and chimps throwing grenades is even more awesome). But if you take a step back, what you're really looking at is a war movie, like Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket, complete with slogans stenciled on the soldiers' helmets ('Monkey Killer') as they trudge through the brush. But as sci-fi movie franchises that were never really about soldiers and stand-up battles, it's interesting to compare War to Rogue One.

Rogue had to take a space action-adventure fantasy franchise filled with clear-cut morality and turn it into a messy political and moral struggle. Planet of the Apes, on the other hand, is already there—terrible things have already been done in the name of science, freedom, and self-determination, and the darker side of humanity and ape-kind have already been revealed. Now the question is whether Caesar and the rest of his allies can hold on to what makes them more than killers. We see Caesar coming face to face with Woody Harrelson's character (or, at least, it's heavily implied that they meet), and we're betting the inevitable 'We're not so different, you and I' moment isn't one of renewed empathy—it's the mutual knowledge that they're both locked in a death struggle.

If you go back and read the interview with Matt Reeves and Dylan Clark, they compare War to a Clint Eastwood Western and a Biblical tale, but one of the chief inspirations was The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars is such a huge part of sci-fi that you can't ignore its influence on other sci-fi movies. In the end, however, War for the Planet of the Apes may be a more brutal and dark picture of war and resistance than anything Star Wars could make.

War for the Planet of the Apes hits US theaters July 14th, 2017.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies