Chronologically speaking, the next movie I would like to compare – the comparison being the world of the Planet of the Apes to our own world – is Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (hereafter, Conquest). I love most how each of the movies has its low and high points and yet all are about the same basic subject matter and handled completely differently. Each movie has a specific point-of-view and looks and feels different from all of the other entries on the Apes movies. This one is the look at the moment it is clear man and ape will not go peacefully together into the night, hand in hand. Rather than see clearly the definitions of peace against society, this movie showed me how little it would take to turn the smartest and kindest into maddened savages, thirsty for the blood of their rivals.
Yep, not for hippies.
Isn’t the story of our land partly how we have been led away from the arguably naive wording used in the Declaration of Independence towards our current hurtling culture of impending doom? All right, maybe that is a bit harsh but I can see it. I see an awful lot of people hesitate to act – except when they feel they are being threatened. Sad but true. For example, do you have a process for checking the labels of your food in your refrigerator, regularly, to see if it is expired? I bet not. But if the news talks about how some listeria was found in some hummus somewhere, I bet you go through all of the food in your fridge to make sure you are Sabra safe. Right? That reaction, when you drop everything you are doing and take some action with a priority over everything else, that is fear. That is a lot of how we react to information, especially news that makes us fear for our safety or the safety of our loved ones.
In Conquest, Caesar is exposed to the world for the first time, as a “lad”. He sees racism and anger and fear all at once. He witness the outrageous horrors inflicted on his people, and empowers himself to do something about it. Most interestingly, the original version of the movie that existed for years was not the original (and in my opinion, better) cut of the film. You can see that if you get the Conquest blu-ray. You may first have to get a blu-ray player. I don’t know what your set up is. I bought a blu-ray player because one of the Apes movies was available on blu-ray.
I don’t think it takes very much to make the average person angry. Very little, in fact. So just how much would it take to make the average person turn violent, aggressive, and war-mongering?
Let’s just see.
NEXT TIME: Oh, by the way, did you notice we are evolving into the planet of the apes. Great. This is part five. Coming soon!