By far, the most intelligent and well-produced Planet of the Apes - Matt Reeves', Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - was just released on Thursday night and what a well-thought piece of science fiction it was. Fired-up from all the action and warring that coursed through the film, it was the film's message and implications that led me dreaming of theory and sitting in introspection by its' end.
They try - lord knows, they try to get along, those humans and apes. But, no matter what their insights and efforts amount to, there is always one bad seed among us that can send a perfectly good-natured peace process spiraling down the sheer walls of a skyscraper.
I am compelled to mention, this newest version of the Apes is a much cleaner, more realistic one than the last. I was bugged in the previews because there they are, again, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge but it, actually, transitioned quite well from the last segment.
Andy Serk stars as the brilliant, Caesar - the anti-hero who genuinely presents to the audience the most mindful and compassionate character in the film. Not only do humans surviving an apocalypse find they aren't the only animals in power on the earth, they are also not the only ones who are intelligent and speak.
What follows are trials and tribulations - angry battlefront war speeches and threats with promises to exterminate each others' existence and, then, war. Battling through the depths of Muir Woods, bullets are flying and necks are being snapped, the dark, oceanic, misty dew falling from the giant, ancient redwoods.
What does this say about human beings - hominids, if you will? What message can we extract from nature and, more importantly, what does it say about our future as lawmakers on capitol hill are now suing each other like berserk children instead of taking care of our elderly and sick? Are we no more than wild barbarians that have evolved from swinging in the trees to, only, erecting bigger high rises that we now climb? Fundamentally, do we really amount to so much more than the rest of the animal kingdom and nature(represented by the apes in this film)? No, we do not. We kill.
My wine pairing for this film is a blend - a meritage - of mostly Cabernet with four other Bordeaux varietals mixed into its' creation. I thought of The 2011 Mariner from the Dry Creek Vineyards as the entire setting for the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place in around one of the most famous seafaring ports in the world - the San Francisco Bay. Further, a perfect blend of five varietals and deep, luscious fruits backed with cocoa notes makes for a lovely menagerie - much like that which the humans and apes were trying to create, together, living side by side in peace. Unfortunately, this synthesis never found its' apex. However, the wine, definitely does. Enjoy a bottle out to dinner after you see the film - they are, both, outstanding!