Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The latest chapter in the Planet of the Apes franchise, entitled War for the Planet of the Apes, is set for release this Friday. So, with that in mind, I wanted to talk a little bit about the current Planet of the Apes series that began in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The series is the second attempt at a reboot of the franchise from 20th Century Fox, and needless to say, it's much more successful.
The Planet of the Apes franchise as a whole is one that is considered a pinnacle of American cinema. Domestically, the series so far has made a total of around $650 million, which places it 36th on the list of highest-grossing domestic franchises list. That may not sound all that great, but keep in mind that the Planet of the Apes franchise has outgrossed the Terminator series, the 8 Alien films, and all 6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. So that's not bad by any means.
The first film in the Planet of the Apes franchise, simply titled Planet of the Apes, was released in 1968. It was later then followed up by four sequels, Beneath the Planet of the Apes in 1970, Escape from the Planet of the Apes in 1971, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in 1972, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes in 1973. After that series, the franchise was left dormant for quite a while. That was until 20th Century Fox decided to try and reboot it back in 2001. The reboot directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg crashed and burned pretty hard as far as reception went. It received a 45% approval rating from critics on RottenTomatoes and an even lower 27% from audiences. A decade later is when Fox decided to reboot it again. However, this time they went to a more modern setting to explain how the planet became run by apes in the first place, and that brings us to where we are now.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the first film in the current Planet of the Apes series to be released. It was directed by Rupert Wyatt and starred James Franco and Andy Serkis. That film, in my opinion, doesn't get the love it deserves. From start to finish, that movie is just so intriguing and entertaining, and it's the kind of movie you can watch over and over again and never get tired of. Andy Serkis gave an absolutely amazing performance in the lead role of Caesar, and the film features what I believe is one of the best singular scenes in the past decade. It did an excellent job of setting up what was to come, and if you haven't seen it you should definitely check it out.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a film that I'm not sure I can give enough praise to. I loved Rise and wasn't sure how they were going to build upon it moving forward. Matt Reeves stepped in to direct, and I wasn't sure if he would do as good as job as Rupert Wyatt or not. Imagine my surprise when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes surpassed Rise in every possible way. The film was such an emotional experience, but also had a lot of action and excitement. The visual effects were some of, if not the best visual effects ever to be put on the big screen, and I can only imagine how they'll continue to improve moving forward. What really made Dawn special for me, was the fact that it was more-so a character study of Caesar. It showed him struggling to keep the peace between humans and apes, and really got down to the nitty-gritty of that character. That was highlighted even more by the arguably Oscar-worthy performance from Serkis. I was, and still am, absolutely blown away by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, It was the first film that I saw in theaters three times, and I still wish I had seen it more.
War for the Planet of the Apes looks to be yet another amazing film in this series. Currently, it's sitting at the highest approval rating of any film in the franchise (93%), and it's easily my most anticipated film for the rest of the summer. If War for the Planet of the Apes manages to meet the same quality level as Dawn, not even exceed it, just meet it, then this trilogy could legitimately be in the conversation of the greatest film trilogies of all time. Now, I'm not saying it is #1, I believe that still goes to the Lord of the Rings films, but I am saying that it will have entered the discussion. If you have not seen this films, do yourself a favor and watch them. This is one of the best on-going franchises we have right now, and you'll want to see the last of the trilogy in theaters.
So what do you think of the current Planet of the Apes movies? How excited are you for War for the Planet of the Apes? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter, it really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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