[With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening on Friday, July 11th, I'm taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]
The Planet of the Apes movies have always been interested with time. The original movie opens with Taylor (Charlton Heston) explaining that his spaceship’s mission isn’t to explore the galaxy, but to use Einstein’s Law of Relativity to leave Earth and return in the distant future where it might not be such a shithole (Taylor was disappointed). From there, Beneath carried the torch to extinction, Escape traveled back in time, Conquest took a twenty-year jump to begin the downfall of humans, and Battle has a prologue and epilogue that take place in 2670 AD. So it’s fitting that the series’ reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, would restart the clock to unload the baggage of the previous movies rather than throwing us back into the middle of the madhouse. While it didn’t carry the heavy commentary of the original saga, Rise took a new path by putting a strong focus on family and bringing a level of spectacle far beyond what any Apes film had done before.