We knew that this was coming, that a final Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer was scheduled to arrive tonight, but those cheeky bastards over at 20th Century Fox surprised everyone and dropped two. The first is the domestic version, while the second is an international cut, and both are fantastic. Largely the same, there are definite distinct differences between the two, and each features a decent amount of new footage missing from the other. It’s a sly way to get you to check out both, which you totally should.
Watching this is a little bit like watching the smaller bits and pieces stitched together with fresh footage in order to give you a clearer, more comprehensive view of the conflict. You’ll recognize some footage, but the way they lay out the emotionality, especially Caesar’s (Andy Serkis), takes a different direction and provides a different perspective.
At the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes you knew there was a clash between the humans and apes on the way, and in the ten years that has elapsed between that climactic battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and the beginning of Dawn, the tension has only gotten worse. A vicious plague—man mad, though inadvertently spread by the apes—has torn through the human population, and as the apes thrive in their freedom, human society crumbles into chaos. Resentful as we can be, we blame the apes and harbor violent resentment.
While there are forces on both sides vying for peace—namely Caesar and Malcolm (Jason Clarke), who both just want to protect their families and live their lives—at the same time there are those who seem bent on coming to violence. Koba (Toby Kebbell), the bonobo with that nasty scar, and Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), the leader of the humans and the former mayor of San Francisco, personify this element of both populations.
The message is the same in this international cut, though they go about it in slightly different ways. Caesar has complicated feelings on the matter. From his upbringing with Will (James Franco) in the first film, he knows that not all humans are evil and want to hurt him, but while he can connect with them and relate to them, he also knows that he belongs with the liberated apes. It’s going to be a rough time, but there is going to be plenty of apes riding horses into battle to get us through.
Directed by Matt Reeves, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also stars Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Judy Greer, and more, and opens everywhere in 3D on July 11.