What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this origin story is less sci-fi and more relationship drama, making it a surprisingly equal-opportunity choice for teens and parents. There's not much language, sexuality, or drinking, but the animal-human violence gets intense in the second half of the movie. Humans are afraid of the apes, so they shoot and poke them, and the threatened apes react defensively by smashing cars, throwing spears, pushing police officers off a bridge, and generally wreaking havoc on the Bay Area. There are a few pivotal death scenes for both species, but the movie's focus is less on the action and more on the nuanced question of how animals and humans can co-exist once there's no intelligence barrier.
- Families can talk about the ongoing popularity of remaking classic older films. What are some series that have outdone their predecessors? Which originals should never have been reimagined?
- How does the violence in this movie compare to other action/sci-fi movies you've seen? Does the fact that it involves animals give it more or less impact?
- Animals are usually depicted as our friends, but what do the apes want -- to rule the world, or just to be free from cages? How does the filmmaker portray Caesar and Will's relationship? Is Caesar a pet, a child, or something in between?
- For those familiar with the Planet of the Apes series, how does this compare to the original storyline? Do the changes make sense, considering technological developments since the '70s? Do you think there should be more?