What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the darker, more violent sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which the apes take arms against a post-super-virus group of human survivors. Dawn has a higher body count than Rise (with a couple of particularly upsetting deaths), and the violence is more militant/weapons-based than the first film's animal abuse and torture. There's also a bit more language ("s--t," "a--hole," one "f--king") and drinking, but overall the film's jump-worthy moments and intense action sequences make this a thrilling post-apocalyptic movie for both teens and parents. The opposing takes on peace versus war may even spark interesting conversations about history, politics, and war.
- Families can talk about how violent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is compared to the first movie. How is it different? What's harder to watch -- the weapons-based violence in this sequel or the animal abuse in the first movie?
- What's so compelling about post-apocalyptic stories? Why are viewers drawn to humans struggling for survival?
- Animals are usually depicted as humans' friends or pets, but what do these apes want -- to rule over humans or to just live free and apart from them?
- Discuss how Caesar's and Koba's approaches to ape-human relations differ. Are there real-life comparisons you can make to their differing world views?