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I Watched The Planet Of The Apes Movies And I Am Actually Obsessed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

“WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY” to talk about possibly one of the best movie franchises on Earth. That’s right, folks. Today, we will be discussing the Planet of the Apes movies. I recently watched all the Planets of the Apes movies, besides the newest one, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Y’all, when I tell you those movies are absolutely revolutionary, I mean it with my whole chest. My roommates and I got so into the franchise that we walked up and down the hill making ape noises. What can I say? We like an immersive experience. With that being said, this article will contain spoilers so proceed at your own risk. 

The franchise begins with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is my personal favorite out of the three movies. The film focuses on the origin story of Caesar, an ape born with heightened intelligence. The film features Caesar essentially living as a human. He is adopted by Dr. Will Rodman, wears clothes, and communicates through sign language. Suddenly, after a neighborhood altercation, Caesar is sent to live in an ape shelter. Caesar then learns about the horrible mistreatment of the other apes and the abuse Will Rodman’s lab is inflicting on them. Because of this, Caesar decides to band the apes all together and begin an ape revolution. The film ends with Caesar saying goodbye to Will and joining the rest of his ape brothers and sisters in the wilderness. 

The audience is able to witness Caesar go through the dramatic change of being a household monkey to a full blown leader. It’s quite inspiring. I was fighting back tears as I saw Caesar saying goodbye to his previous life with Will and embracing his new life as king of the apes. The character development in this singular film alone goes absolutely crazy. The story progression and the pacing is simply flawless. One of my absolute favorite parts of the film is when the apes rode onto the Golden Gate Bridge on horses. It was quite literally one of the most badass scenes in all of cinema history. I was screaming “LET’S EFFING GO” like a man during a sports game when this happened. No notes! 

The world building does not stop there! As we progress onto Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the audience is able to witness the world that Caesar has built in the woods. The apes are separated from human civilization. The majority of the human race has been wiped out by the deadly Simian Flu that was released from Dr. Will Rodman’s lab, the few survivors are left to figure out how to protect what is left of the human race. This film navigates the concept of betrayal and, quite frankly, had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The stakes have become extremely high, which makes the film so incredibly fun to watch. Did I cry? Yes. Did I love it? Yes. Also, Steve Zahn as Bad Ape, you will always be famous. 

Just when you think the stakes cannot get any higher, they do. The third installment in the franchise is titled War for the Planet of the Apes. The apes are now officially at war with the humans. It’s Caesar versus Evil Woody Harrelson. This is the movie where it gets real. Everything was so unpredictable, you seriously cannot predict where this movie will take you. My eyes were straight up glued to the TV. Quite honestly, this is the most devastating watch of the entire franchise and there were parts of it that were really tough to get through. However, the ending is quite beautiful and it was a really perfect ending to Caesar’s story. That’s right. Unfortunately, Caesar does die at the end of the film after he has rescued the apes. He guides them to a safe new home where they can be free to live their best lives and is now able to rest knowing his job is completed. As you predicted, I cried. My roommates cried as well. All I can say is, Caesar is the most goated character in cinema history. Argue with the wall. 

Although I am sad to see Caesar and the original ape gang go, I am glad that the franchise is continuing and I am so excited to see where it goes. I already can see where Kingdom is taking us and I am so incredibly ready to see how ape civilization has evolved. With that being said, I am also quite pumped to see a new set of ape actors on screen, especially Mr. Owen Teague who I think is just incredibly handsome. 

Bottom line is: if you aren’t in your Planet of the Apes era, you should be. Those movies are absolutely incredible and not a single one of them disappoints. So, turn on that TV and get watching. It’s what Caesar would’ve wanted.

Lauren Del Mar is a third-year World Arts and Cultures major at UCLA! She is from San Diego, California and she is beyond excited to be a part of the Her Campus team! From writing to performing on stage, Lauren absolutely adores storytelling and is so happy to be able to tell stories through Her Campus!