On its surface, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” seems like a battle between humans and super intelligent apes.
But as the plot unfolds it becomes clear the real battle lines have been drawn between Caesar (Andy Serkis), the returning hero from “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and Koba (Toby Kevvell), his warmongering lieutenant.
With the simian-filled sequel dominating the box office, we took a look at other famous movie monkeys, err, primates, to see how they’d fit in with the new post-human paradigm.
Which side would they choose?
Team Koba | “2001: A Space Odyssey,” 1968
The man-apes from Stanley Kubrick‘s sci-fi masterpiece would make ideal soldiers in any primate army. In the opening sequence they take bones from an animal carcass and use them as tools… for murder. It’s enough to make Koba proud.
Any chimpanzee that puts on pajamas and cuddles up with Ronald Reagan in bed is either a pretty sweet primate or a diehard Republican. Either way, the goofy little chimp who starred alongside the future President in “Bedtime for Bonzo” would surely play for Team Caesar.
Team Koba | “Congo,” 1995
There’s one nice, human-friendly gorilla in “Congo,” but everyone remembers the silver-haired monstrous Killer Grey Gorillas who defended the powerful blue diamond at the center of the Lost City of Zinj. Trained to kill by humans, they ultimately turned on their masters and built their own human-killing armies. Koba would go far with these guys in his ranks.
Team Caesar| “Mighty Joe Young,” 1998
Mighty Joe Young is a big, scary gorilla, but he has a heart of gold. He also has a crush on Charlize Theron, so he’d definitely fight hard for Caesar and the humans.
Team Caesar | “Gorillas in the Mist,” 1988
Nobody worked harder to protect gorillas than Dian Fossey, as played by Sigourney Weaver in this adaptation of Fossy’s book, so one would imagine the gorillas she met here, particularly Digit, would advocate for peace with humans over war.
Team Koba | “Jumanji,” 1995
The monkeys in “Jumanji” aren’t necessarily evil, but they’re clearly mischievous. Also, they come from an alternate jungle dimension hellbent on killing Robin Williams, so it’s doubtful they’d fall in line with Caesar’s “be kind to humans” spiel.
Team Caesar | “The Jungle Book,” 1967
King Louie loves humans so much he wants to be one, and even kidnaps Mowgli hoping to learn the secret of fire. Louie would thrive with Caesar’s peace-loving crowd, if only so he can continue to party and have fun with his favorite humans.
Team Koba | “King Kong,” 1939
King Kong is a pretty misunderstood guy and probably could have gotten along with humans initially, but after the way they treated him, there’s no way he would turn down the chance to destroy them all in favor of an apes-rule-all society.