Apologies to Game of Thrones, but this is the only trailer that matters today.
Welcome to the planet of the apes, where primates stand on two legs, carry guns, speak in somber action-hero voices, and punk the living shit out of Woody Harrelson. That’s right: Thursday gave us a trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes, set for a July release.
Here’s an outlandish opinion: Preposterous names aside (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now War), the recent rebooted wave of Apes movies is the most fun action franchise we have. (Take that, Vin Diesel.) Rise proved that Andy Serkis is a better actor than James Franco. Dawn gave us this scene, which juggled slapstick and horror better than, like, Gremlins:
And this trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes literally has me pounding my chest at my desk. Let me explain why in five screenshots.
Here is production designer James Chinlund’s application, in its entirety, for the Gritty Reboot Hall of Fame:
Here is a shirtless Woody Harrelson, who plays the commander of the ape-hunting human army, crossing himself with a straight razor while using that razor to shave his head:
Here is a charmingly tubby gorilla on two legs with a machine gun:
Here is Andy Serkis’s Caesar on horseback. Do they give an Oscar for Best Performance by a Human Playing an Animal Riding Another Animal? They should:
And here is how Harrelson’s Colonel is dressed up for what looks to be the movie’s climactic man-beast battle with Caesar, which takes place inside a waterfall:
The new-age Apes movies serve as a not-so-secret reminder that, in the age of extra-CGI’d action spectacles, human actors are basically window dressing. Give me the barest bones of a story, one man in a monkey costume, and some bumping tribal drums. Together, apes strong.