Maddening: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

I left the theater gritting my teeth. I was frustrated, but not with the movie. I quite enjoyed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. So far the series has been a good reboot. What I was experiencing was something else, a petulance gnawing at me. It was like riding a slow elevator to the 100th floor that’s quietly playing the muzak version of Justin Bieber. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I was angry.

And then I realized it was the movie. Or, more specifically, the pig-ignorant characters. Both human and ape. What a shower of bastards. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the world’s population is a plague of thick idiots who are indifferent to anyone other than themselves. This is obviously a transparent metaphor for the radical jackasses fucking up society today: Palestine and Israel, Democrats and Republicans, terrorists (religious, eco, or otherwise) and the entitled, etc.

But their jackassery goes beyond simply putting fingers in their ears and chanting “la la la la la la la la!” Both sides deliberately work to undermine the one shaky shot that could save lives, simply to settle a score. It’s acutely ironic because the eye for an eye policy is usually aimed at something completely innocent—but isn’t that always the case? For instance, the simian flu killed people, so the humans need to kill the apes. This is conveniently forgetting that humans were the ones who made the virus. Humans tortured apes, so apes need to kill the humans. This is conveniently forgetting most humans died from the simian flu and resulting anarchy, meaning the torturers are long gone.

Truly different sides of the same coin.The movies ends with the set up to war between the humans and apes. The war will decimate what’s left of both man and ape. The film seems to suggest the only way to achieve peace is through the total annihilation of one or the other. And here’s the truly maddening part, as a metaphor for the world today, annihilation is exactly where we’re headed.

I suppose that by firing me up the movie achieved it’s goal, assuming that’s what it wanted. Or perhaps I’m just a cantankerous fool and I completely missed the point. The film is definitely worth seeing. If you have heart disease, or high blood pressure, just be sure to take your medicine first.

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