When Reboots Arise, Genre Tends To Die
For my money, in the landscape of pilfered brand properties adapted to screen, the Apes moves are the most civilized. Of all the reboots, arguably none has proven a greater antithesis of what these new visions trend towards. The paradoxical pitfall of remakes and reboots is that fundamentally they are about themselves, doing that thing we recognize.
The first Apes reboot from 2001 is a great example. It was a self-contained story. There were no theme to explore because the theme was a Planet of the Apes movie. It was a basic science-fiction film, in definition only, otherwise focused entirely on a narrative driven by our understanding of a Planet of the Apes movie. It lacked many of the tropes that drive the visual content of cinema.
The success of the newest reboot of the Apes films is in their conception as genre films. Dawn wore its classic science-fiction, monster movie influences on its sleeve. It harbored themes we can relate to in modern society - the paranoia around technology, big business, and our fear of nature when we can't control it. It could have replaced a baby ape with a computer and the effect would be the same. Rise had a taste for a dystopian western. Strangers in a changing world trying to make a life for themselves and nature impeding into human territory. It could have replaced the Apes with Native Americans and the effect would have been the same.
If we can anticipate exactly what to expect for War, we don’t have to think too hard: this bad boy is a war film. Expect moral quandaries, the horrors of war – how it shapes history, damages the present, and leaves consequences for the future. You know, everything a great war film explores. It's more than guns, explosions, and battle scenes.
Rhys Dowbiggin @Rdowb
Rhys has worked six years in the public relations industry rubbing shoulders with movie stars (who ignored him) to athletes (who tolerated him). He likes tiki-taka football, jelly beans, and arguing with Bruce about everything.