Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Call it Gorillas in the Mist – With Machine Guns! Yes, from the giant Xerox copier known as Hollywood comes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the latest installment in the interminable Planet of the Apes franchise. Franchise. That’s a strange term for a line of movies, but it actually makes sense when analogizing movies to fast food. Fast food franchisees keep churning out those thin, greasy, gray, mystery meat patties with the wilted lettuce, skinny slices of tomato and pickle and that savory “special sauce” made of plastic. Hollywood keeps churning out its cinematic equivalent. Except this cheesy quarter pounder of a movie cost $170 million bananas and not a dime of it went into the script . . .

I suppose that sooner or later Dawn will be followed by Day of the Planet of the Apes, Revenge of the Planet of the Apes, Return of the Planet of the Apes and eventually by The Return of the Revenge of Planet of the Apes Strikes Back Part II, because that’s the way Hollywood rolls. Or re-rolls.


The plot of Dawn is a stale recasting of every dramatic “clash of cultures” movie you’ve ever seen. There are the primitive but noble “savages” on the one hand, whose interests clash with the more advanced but not necessarily more moral “civilized people.” Can the two tribes put aside their cultural differences and cooperate to make a better world after mankind has been almost wiped out by a monkey virus? You’re guess is as good as mine.

And then it hit me. If this movie had been made in the 1950s, it would have been called “The Dawn of the Planet of the Apaches.” Yeah, Dawn is a science-fictionalized Cowboy and Indian movie. Just not a good one.

In this moral play, the apes are the noble savages. Like all noble savages, the apes have a strict moral code which they have written on a concrete wall near the Phillips 76 station in the Muir Woods where they hang out. The moral code has some things that everybody – humans and talking apes alike — can all get behind.

At the top of the list is “Ape Not Kill Ape.” Words to live by, despite the poor grammer. Sure, apes fight, but they don’t kill each other. They count coup, like Apaches. Except when they do kill each other. Way down the list is “Put Down Toilet Seat When Finished.” Okay, I the toilet commandment isn’t in the movie, but it’s just as smart as anything that is.


Speaking of Planet of the Apaches, this flick incorporates just about every cliché from vintage Cowboy and Indian movies that anyone could possibly want. There’s the strong, decent but cautious Big Chief Caesar who was raised by a kindly paleface who he remembers fondly. In fact, Caesar is accused of being a human-lover, and there’s just a bit of truth to that.

Caesar wants nothing more than to be left alone to raise his family and enjoy a tasty venison sandwich from time to time, which he tenderizes by driving a herd of deer off a cliff. Oh, yeah, these apes have ditched the vegan lifestyle and gone full carno, which is why PETA should boycott this film. Please.


For every point, there must be a counterpoint. To counterbalance (or unbalance) the wise and wonderful Caesar, there’s the obsequious, two faced and oh so malevolent Koba, who has a vicious streak as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge and a nasty score to settle with the white men. I mean the humans. He hates them. His upbringing at the hands of humans was a little rougher than Caesar’s. Koba even has scars so you can tell him apart from the nice chimps who are just swinging around, trying to make a living.


There’s the young Son of Chief, named Blue Eyes even though he never even tries to sing “My Way,” who’s transitioning through those awkward teenage pain-in-the-ass years. Will he eventually find his way to being a good and respectful son, will he go all Crazy Horse on the humans, or will the audience strangle him first just because he’s so damn obnoxious? Does anybody actually care?

And what about the humans? They live in San Francisco, they’re absolutely fabulous, darling, and they crave power. Electric power. So they can use their radios to reach out to other potential human colonies around the world, try to reestablish civilization and play late ‘60s Rock ‘n’ Roll. But they have to make a deal with the apes to get the power because the power plant is in Indian Country. Ominous, right?

The inadvertent first meeting in ten years twixt ape and human goes swirling down the porcelain convenience when one of the more cowardly humans freaks out and goes ape on an ape. This is going to make getting a treaty a bit more difficult than expected by anyone who hasn’t seen The Searchers.


The human leader, Dreyfus, is played by Gary Oldman. Dreyfus is a bit of an egotist and maybe he’s just a little bit nuts, too. He would be happy to wipe out all the apes to lay his hands on the gold in the Black Hills, oops, I meant the power station in the ‘Frisco hills. After all, the apes are “just animals.” We hear that a lot during the film. But Dreyfus is persuaded to hold off by Malcolm, played by Jason Clarke. Malcolm thinks he can parley with the pigeon English-speaking apes. Unfortunately, Malcolm is fresh out of beads and cheap trade goods.

Clarke is an engaging actor, and he’s believable even while he’s boring the audience to tears. Clarke can’t always contain his Aussie accent, which sometimes slips out when he has any actual acting lines to deliver. It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s distracting when it does.


Oldman is a distinguished actor, but not in this part. He never really gives it his all, which is understandable given the dialog he’s stuck with and the few lines he gets to spiel. Oldman does a pretty good job of disguising his inner Brit, so only a trace of his south London accents pops out.

So the acting is pedestrian. Director Matt Reeve’s pacing is plodding, with long stretches of near-terminal boredom. Reeves also directed “Cloverfield,” so if you’ve seen that film you understand what tedious pacing is all about. There’s one big battle scene in Dawn, which is lengthy and silly as the warrior apes go ridin’ their horses Comanche-style into Fort Point and the former Bagdad-By-The-Bay. The braves start a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves to within an inch of its life. Fort Point, Fort Apache, Fort Dobbs – when you’ve seen the storming of one fort, you’ve seen them all.

The whole movie builds to the inevitable showdown between Cochise and Cream Cheese. Excuse me, I meant Caesar and Koba. In the Thunderdome no less. One ape enters, one ape leaves. You already know which is which.

So there’s not much here to get excited about. The 3D was okay, I guess. But it reminded me of one of those pop-up books we used to read when we were kids. There wasn’t much dimensionality, just a series of flat planes, one forward of the other. That’s a failure of the process.

There are a couple of nice non-acting touches. The sage orangutan in Dawn is named Maurice – and anyone who saw the 1968 grandfather of this brand of monkeyshines knows that Dr. Zaius, the orangutan lawgiver, was played by the incomparable stage actor Maurice Evans. See what they did there? Dawn also has a female chimp named Cornelia, which is probably a reference to the character of Cornelius in the original. I appreciated the homages.

And there are guns. Lots of guns. Ya gotta feel good about that.

Most of the firepower is of the common military variety, left behind in the armory by FEMA and the National Guard. One of the tasty ballistic features is Gary Oldman’s SBR, which seems to be either a Colt 933 with a M468 SIR-style hand guard, or a Barrett M468, in either case kitted out with an M68 Aimpoint scope and Surefire forward grip with a weapon light. I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell whether the carbine was shooting 5.56NATO or 6.8SPC, but Oldman wasn’t shooting at me so it was hard to tell.

Most of the humans seem to favor the M16A2 as their rifle of choice. Why? Well, I guess it’s what they had available. The 5.56 could be considered anemic when trying to put down 600 pound gorillas, but at least the cartridges are easy to carry. Right?

The apes seem to lean more to the M4A1 with an ACOG, which is a nice choice because while the 5.56 is a wimp when shooting gorillas, it does the business against unarmored people. But the apes can also do something that the humans can’t — the apes can easily handle their M4s one-handed, with accuracy, two at a time, bareback on galloping horses without even aiming while screaming. Either those impressive gun handling skills are innate, or the primates have been extensively trained by Gabe Suarez.

Blue Eyes shows off his inner teenage gunfighter by handling a Bushmaster ACR SBR with great style. Malcolm – a whiny bitch who spent a portion of the film on his knees, sucking up to the apes – carries a scoped Remington 700 early in the movie and brandishes an FN SCAR-H at his own boss Dreyfus.

Speaking of Malcolm, he’s also seen fondling a Smith & Wesson M64, while another of the humans puts a Smith & Wesson M629 V-Comp to good use. Of course, we have an AT4 for your rocket launching pleasure (but not by Rocket, who is one of the apes), a mounted SAW and Gary Oldman’s FS92 which he carries in a bitchin’ leg drop holster because he’s such a cool operator.

The most intense scene of simian ballistic buffoonery is when Koba blasts not one, but two machine guns at the same time while charging San Francisco on horseback. I understand that Spetsnaz actually teaches that skill to all its ambidextrous recruits. Anyway, one of the machine guns is an M249 SAW with a Paratrooper buttstock. The second one is probably the same, but it was hard to see. I’ll go with two SAWs while I make myself a screwdriver.

But the coolest firearm, by far, was the diminutive Remington 870 “Witness Protection” – two feet of twelve gauge kickass badness that tucks neatly into one’s carry-on luggage. Now that’s something that I really want. I think it’s likely to be an AOW rather than an SBS, which saves a few bucks on the tax stamp. So hell, I’ll take two.

Rumor has it that this film has a hidden anti-gun message. Early in the movie, we do see imagery of the two kings – Bloomberg and Obama — but they’re talking about evacuating, not guns. The producers say there’s no Trojan Horse in Dawn and I have to agree. Dawn is not an anti-gun message film. It is, however, true to its roots.

The original Planet of the Apes was released while the Cold War was frigid. Thousands of weapons of mass destruction were pointed at countries all over the world. Scientists – the same breed who are currently babbling about global warming – were babbling then about nuclear winter. Curtis LeMay’s 1965 threat to “bomb ‘em back to the stone age” of the film was all too possible. Planet was an anti-war movie and at its core, Dawn is too. There’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s obvious that the director is uncomfortable with guns – Caesar hates them — but in Dawn the snake in Paradise is more Koba than the guns. What is it gun guys always say? Oh, yeah. Guns don’t kill people. People – or batshit crazy apes – kill people. Here, the writers blame the bad apes and bad people, not the guns. So Dawn is a popcorn movie with less of a message than the original. In fact, the entire reset seems to have more of an anti-science message than an anti-gun message. After all, it was scientists who created the thinking apes and the monkey virus that took down the world.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is kicking major booty at the box office, and getting great reviews from reviewers and paying customers. I have no idea why, although when compared to Transformers: Age of Extinction, Dawnis the second coming of Citizen Kane. As for me, I want my 130 minutes back.


Model: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Caliber: .22 Long
Length: 130 minutes
Action: Not enough
Finish: There can’t be a finish since the sequel is already in the works
Price: $170 million. It earned about $75 million in its first weekend, so we are doomed to several more of these.

RATINGS (out of five bullets)

Style * * *
The script is dull, the big battle scene is silly, the showdown isn’t even mildly engaging, the acting is mediocre, the direction plodding, the 3D was almost as flat as the script. Other than that, it was great.

Reliability * * *
The apes are the stars of the show, mostly because they have more personality than the humans.

Try to stay awake.


  1. avatar bob says:

    There are a million sites that do movie reviews….why is TTAG doing them?

    1. avatar OCD says:

      +1 Apparently I missed the question about movie reviews on the survey.

    2. avatar Nathanael says:

      Because this was F-ing great, that’s why.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:


        1. avatar Joe R. says:


          Although I too was looking for some further expose on ‘anti-gun’, I think it’s handy to discern and disseminate all the avenues of approach.

          If you want protection from “punches” you shouldn’t then ask to limit that protection to jabs, because you’ll walk into the left-hook.

    3. Possibly because it was rumored that the movie had an anti-gun message. Other than that, I got nothing.

    4. avatar KMc says:

      Because Ralph likes guns?

    5. avatar Accur81 says:

      Are you all serious? Go and get your reviews from a soy latte-swilling champagne liberal from West Hollywood if you don’t like TTAG’s reviews. They’ll use nifty words like “edgy” and crap like that while they describe their crap movie. I’m really impressed how much effort they put into polishing Hollywood movie turds like this.

      As for me, I truly enjoy Ralph’s reviews. The only response a sentient person has to such assine big screen redundancy is sarcasm. Ralph’s sarcasm has eloquence that is sometimes lost amongst movie patrons who are clearly too stupid to avoid movies like this. Just as low information voters give us shitty politicians, zombie-brained masses buy up tickets which perpetuate these features. I look forward to the next time that Ralph mocks the inevitable cycle.

      1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

        “Ralph’s sarcasm has eloquence”

        + 1. Classic. It indeed does. I think you get points for that one somewhere!

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          That’s gotta be the nicest thing that anyone has ever said about me. Which, when you think about it, is kinda scary.

    6. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      Here’s the link.
      1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has guns in it.
      2. All the POA movies had guns in them.
      3. Charleton Heston was in the first two POA movies.
      4. Charleton Heston was the NRA head honcho for awhile.
      5. While head honcho Charlie held up a musket and proclaimed “From my cold, dead hands”.
      6. He has sinced past on.
      7. It’s a slow day for gun news.

      Don’t make me answer more questions.

    7. avatar William says:

      Nothing wrong with doing movie reviews from a gun-geek POV.

    8. avatar Ralph says:

      Bob, I write movie reviews for one reason — because every day I think to myself, “what would p1ss Bob off.”

      Mission accomplished. You have inspired me to review one new movie per day until your head explodes.

      1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

        Please let them have the word “Nympho” somewhere in the title.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          The producers of this movie are planning “Planet of the Nymphos” for the summer of 2026.

    9. avatar Dryw says:

      Because I would read a 3000-word sarcastic treatise on the merits of various whitening toothpastes, if penned by Ralph. And I would consider it time well spent.

      A good read is a good read. Movie with guns in it = fodder for inclusion in gun blog, as far as I am concerned.

  2. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Any Ape that would choose to run a $250 Magpul PRS stock on his AR has sure got his priorities in order.

    Oh, and grammar is spelled with an A of course: “Words to live by, despite the poor grammer” (Sorry, I know everyone gets mad at me for pointing out spelling errors, but just can’t help it)

    I liked the first one, so hopeful this one isn’t as bad as your review indicates…


    1. avatar TJ says:

      It’s not. I really enjoyed it. I was disappointed that the gun on the poster was never in this movie, though. Unless I missed something.

      The grammar and spelling corrections are very needed. I actually put that in my survey. I generally cringe at least twice in each post over a run-on or something else. Thanks for pointing it out, so that, maybe, they’ll notice.

      1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

        Thanks, TJ. Yeah, movies are like women… Everyone has their own tastes. Still looking forward to seeing this one now…

    2. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Yea I believe editing would definitely help. This is probably the first review I enjoyed cause I dont really plan to see the movie unless I pirate it 🙂

    3. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Oh, and grammar is spelled with an A of course: “Words to live by, despite the poor grammer” (Sorry, I know everyone gets mad at me for pointing out spelling errors, but just can’t help it)

      Ah reckon that’s whut we call a joke, son..

      (oh, and btw how did the pacifist apes learn how to operate automatic weapons? where do they keep their spare mags? how do they know how to eject a mag, reload, and possibly clear/recharge?)

      1. avatar Ken says:

        None of that is needed as movie firearms are magic. Haven’t you noticed? 🙂

  3. avatar Alpo says:

    That damned dirty ape with the s&w snubby is going to pull his shots left.

    1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

      Yup. FingerTIP. FingerTIP. Damn ape.

  4. avatar Gunr says:

    I fell asleep reading about it. Something about some monkeys?

  5. avatar TJ says:

    I’d like to revise my survey… My least favorite type of article: Movie Reviews.

    Please stop.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Please don’t read. Problem solved. Or does the entire world revolve around you?

      1. avatar C says:

        It couldn’t possibly. The world obviously revolves around ME.

  6. avatar the ruester says:

    The Saving Private Ryan style mid battle slo-mo that ends with Boka commandeering a tank and rocking an M60 was just priceless. I’ve gotta say, as ridiculous as all this was the CGI is just out of this world.

  7. avatar Gregolas says:

    I assume there are movie reviews in TTAG because it’s about the gun universe, and movies love to use guns, since they’re an easy way to move the plot when you’ve got nothing else(and Hollywood rarely does).
    Second, the use/misuse of guns, attitudes reflected by their use in film, and the technical aspects of their use are interesting to many of us on political, cultural, technical and historical grounds. Nothing bugs me more than one side carrying the other sides guns, or the wrong weapons for the period in a historically based movie.
    Third, Ralph is an entertaining writer who knows his movie stuff!

    1. avatar Herb says:

      I remember movies set in the Revolutionary War where both the British and Americans were using breechloading flintlocks. They never seemed to use ramrods to reload.

      Later saw these converted Springfields at the NRA museum along with the mockup parts that made them look like flinters.

      Using the other sides’s guns? Hermann Goering carried a S&W .38 M&P which was not captured but bought well before WWII. Hideki Tojo tried to off himself with a Colt 1903 .32; wonder if it was Gen. Jonathan Wainwright’s?

      Anyway, no ape movies for this human.

  8. It is a movie.

    Big deal.

    No need to do a firearms analysis.

  9. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    As an alternative download and watch the original. Linda Harrison, who plays Nova, is a treat and Charleton Heston is an inspiration. If he carved out a professional acting career you can too!

  10. avatar MJJ says:

    I wasn’t impressed by the original “Apes” movies way back in the 1960’s, nor the short-lived TV show, nor the remake of the original movie starring Mark Walberg from several years ago. I haven’t wasted my time, or money, on these recent movies.


    Why is this movie being reviewed here?

    1. avatar James Miller says:

      Because guns. Why else?

      Honestly folks, it’s not like he’s reviewing “Sex Tape” or some other completely random movie on a gun site. If we can say “if you don’t like guns, don’t buy one” then we can certainly say “if you don’t want to read a movie review, don’t read it”. Some folks on this site need to lighten up.

  11. avatar Martin says:

    Great and funny stuff Ralph

  12. avatar Kyle V. says:

    Bonus points for Blazing Saddles reference.

  13. avatar Ken says:

    “The braves start a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves to within an inch of its life”
    Except for the wimmenfolk, o’ course….. They save them for the number 6 dance later on.

  14. avatar IdahoPete says:

    “Like all noble savages, the apes have a strict moral code which they have written on a concrete wall near the Phillips 76 station in the Muir Woods where they hang out. … At the top of the list is “Ape Not Kill Ape.” ”

    And as nearly every reasonably honest primate researcher can tell you, this is total Hollywood BS – apes are among the most prolific killers in the animal world. Male apes kill their rivals and their rival’s progeny, female apes kill the babies of competing females, and the whole band will get together to kill any nearby weaker band that is competing for foraging areas. The main ape moral code is “kill any ape that might compete for food or offspring.”

    Gentle creatures – right. Try reading “Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors” by Nicholas Wade.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      You do realize that these aren’t meant to be “natural” apes, right?

  15. avatar Shenandoah says:

    I had high hopes for this movie going into it and I was thoroughly disappointed. Way too many plot holes, weak human characters, just about every cliche imaginable was thrown in, and the battle scenes were just awful. I guess it wasn’t as bad for people who don’t have gun knowledge, but seeing people (and apes) dual-wielding M4’s set to full out with 30 round magazines that never run out of ammo will kill any action flick for me.

    The movie did have some cool scenes, and the actors in CGI suits playing the apes did an awesome job, but not enough to outweigh the bad.

  16. avatar blahpony says:

    So, in other words, break out the box set of the originals and watch those instead?

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Better yet, get the original book and read it. Far better than all the movies combined.

  17. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Seems like a whole lot of talk about a movie not worth seeing, let alone discussing. I’ve already, just in this, thought and said more than the movie probably merits.


  18. avatar Gene says:

    I swear Gary Oldman is in every single movie there is in the last 30 years. He’s such a very versatile actor. He’s more pervasive than Kevin Bacon.

    1. avatar James Miller says:

      “When you enunciate, you spit.”

      Bonus points to whoever knows what Oldman performance I’m referring to. Oldman is definitely one of the greats but sometimes he doesn’t always take roles that highlight his talent.

      1. avatar 80 D says:

        I am ashamed to admit that I know the line is from Oldman’s appearance on “Friends.”
        Huge Oldman fan…Friends? Well kinda stuck watching it back in the day ’cause the GF watched it.

        1. avatar James Miller says:

          Shoot, wifey bought the box set so I’ve seen that episode a few times. Still makes me laugh.

  19. avatar Bill From over the Hill says:

    Great review Ralph. Thanks!

  20. avatar Thrawn says:

    I saw it over the weekend and enjoyed it. Its much better than the usual drivel spewed out by Hollywood during the summer. Movies always get it wrong when it comes to guns – you just have to suspend belief and try not to let it bother you.

    I did comment to my wife about how the apes were never shown having learned how to load magazines and/or reload a new magazine when the original 30 runs out, much less how to actually chamber a round. They must have remarkable upper arm and hand strength (which chimps actually do) in order to wield them like pistols (especially the SAW).

    Contrary to this review – the apes did not actually seem to be aiming. They were just all firing in the general direction of the humans and it didn’t seem like that many humans were actually dropping to bullets. They just got overran by hordes of rushing apes.

    The use of CGI for the actual apes and facial expressions was great. The technology has come a long way. The over-saturation of CGI laden effects and big action sequences for the “big battle” become mind numbing after a while (the same as every big summer blockbuster film).

    One thing that gets on my nerves (just a little bit) is the snarky comment that always accompanies every film that is well received by the movie-going population: that a film/story is unoriginal. We, as humans, have been writing stories for thousands of years and making movies for about 100 years. There isn’t ANYTHING original anymore. Every type of story/allegory/situation has been told (several times over) before. I don’t think this is a valid criticism to use.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      There isn’t ANYTHING original anymore.

      So you’ve never seen a Tarantino movie?

      1. avatar King_Thrawn says:

        I love Taraninto films (except for Grindhouse). My contention was your dismissive characterization of the latest Apes film as a typical “noble savages meet the more advanced, but less noble, group”. Of course thats what the film is about. What else could a movie like this even be about?

        I do think that Tarantino films are original in terms of great dialogue/characters and the style/pacing with which the movies are shot. I don’t think they are original in the sense that they are about:

        – A group of criminals performing a heist with an undercover cop among them
        – Hit men / mobsters recovering stolen merchandise and killing people along the way
        – An experienced martial artist tracking down and killing adversaries in hand to hand combat one by one
        – A group of Americans hunting/killing hordes of Nazis/wartime enemies
        – An escaped slave/black man taking revenge upon his captors/whites, all while saving the girl

        Simplified even more, his movies are just:

        – Mobster/killing films
        – Heist/killing films
        – Revenge/killing films

        (Not that there is anything wrong with that – I love them).

        Thats the point I was making. Every type of these stories have been told, in some fashion. I just think its a lazy criticism to say “oh this story has been told before, therefore this movie sucks.”

        1. avatar big blue says:

          I don’t think your criticism is particularly valid, that said I offer up Dusk till Dawn as a solid genre-mixup.

        2. avatar Paelorian says:

          Whoosh. Right overhead. I laughed, Ralph.

  21. avatar Michael B. says:

    I enjoy Ralph’s movie reviews immensely. In fact, I think he missed his calling!

  22. avatar michael nieto says:

    I saw the movie and it was trash almost everything Hollywood does these days is trash

  23. avatar Eric says:

    Ralph’s movie reviews keep me coming back to this site.

  24. avatar miforest says:

    go see “America” instead. much better.

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:


  25. avatar A samurai says:

    “People – or batshit crazy apes”

    Um isn’t that redundant?
    I’m sorry but I have been wondering this for days. Humans differ from modern apes by less then 1% of their genetic code. So, if Apes start walking upright, talking, and shooting guns, that would make them humans? Just fuzzy humans with no technology of their own?
    Earth already IS the planet of the “apes” those apes just call themselves humans.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      It depends on your definition. Strictly speaking, apes is a clade which includes hominids, and hominids include humans, so yes, humans are apes.

      The genetic difference, OTOH, shouldn’t count for that much. It’s true that e.g. humans and chimps have ~98% similarity. But, just to give you a baseline, we share about 90% with cats, and 65% with fruit flies…

  26. avatar JohnnyMac says:

    The word is “pidgin”

    I know this is TTAG and not The Atlantic, but let’s not give the antis any more ammo in their attempt to paint us as unsophisticated hicks living in towns without roads.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      What are “roads?”

    2. avatar Anonymous says:


      They like to think we end every statement with the above as well.

    3. avatar miforest says:

      Whats wrong with unsophisticated hicks? as a well-traveled highly educated unsophisticated hick, I have observed that “sophisticated” as applied to people rather than mechanisms is a synonym for neurotic. Using ” hick” as a pejorative connotes the user as arrogant, and usually self-righteous

  27. avatar Gabe Suarez says:

    “But the apes can also do something that the humans can’t — the apes can easily handle their M4s one-handed, with accuracy, two at a time, bareback on galloping horses without even aiming while screaming. Either those impressive gun handling skills are innate, or the primates have been extensively trained by Gabe Suarez”.

    OK…I want to set the record straight about this as I am incessantly astounded by the internet foolishness and misunderstanding of our methods. We do not advocate the unsighted use of TWO M4s off horseback while screaming. One, however, is possible. 😉

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Presuming either you’ve got a well trained deaf/plugs in the ears horse (so your mount doesn’t freak out), hitting anything while bouncing on horseback is hard to do.

  28. avatar Will says:

    Ralph should be a full time movie reviewer. His reviews are freaking hilarious. Although I’d feel pretty bad for him for actually having watch all the crap that gets released.

  29. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Thanks Ralph. I think I’ll save the nearly hundred dollars a theater trip would have cost me and I’ll go to the range instead.

  30. avatar Taylor TX says:

    I will take 2 as well, Short shotguns are always handy.

  31. avatar g says:

    Nice review. Go see Snow Piercer!

  32. avatar Avid Reader says:

    “Early in the movie, we do see imagery of the two kings – Bloomberg and Obama — but they’re talking about evacuating, not guns.”

    That sentence left me with an unpleasant mental image. . .

  33. avatar Michael B. says:

    You know what would be great? If they put a poll up and we could choose what movie Ralph saw next.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I might hate you.

  34. avatar former water walker says:

    +1 THRAWN… you got it. This was a wildly entertaining summer popcorn movie. Ralph I think I’ve plussed you dozens of times in the last few months. You sound like an old fogey here. I was in a crowded matinee and there was barely a peep out of the crowd. Nope it wasn’t original. Yes the San Francisco survivors were dumber than the apes. And we all know where the franchise is going. This was a check your brain at the door hit. The guns & violence were the highlights. If I was the lab chimp
    Koba I’d want to kill every human too.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I was in a crowded matinee and there was barely a peep out of the crowd.

      Maybe they were asleep.

  35. avatar Pashtun6 says:

    What’s the authors opinion on the latest Transformers?

    Personally I thought is was a pretty decent movie, and we didn’t have to listen to Shia LaBuff (sp?) screing his fool head off every 5 minutes.
    I saw “Lawless” and Shia literally played the same darn character he did in the transformers films for the vast majority of the film

  36. 91% of critics liked it and 91% of viewers liked it.


  37. avatar big blue says:

    What really struck me about this movie (beyond all the other absurdity/plot holes like a ragtag group getting a 10year-abandoned hydro plant working in 2-3 days), was the terrible physical security the human group had compared to the apes.

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Clearly no rednecks survived the simian flu, otherwise that armory would have been cleared out on day one, and their walls would be covered with ape heads.

      1. avatar big blue says:

        Well the survivors were from San Francisco… so I guess it was accurate.

    2. avatar King_Thrawn says:

      It was certainly quite the stretch to get the power plant working again by blowing up some debris, fiddling with some electronics, and turning a valve … then viola! power is restored!

  38. avatar Ken kaniff says:

    I love the movie reviews here. But I couldn’t disagree with this review more. I thought Dawn was very good. The apes looked amazing. Really great graphics. The story had alot of underlining themes as well. I usually disagree with what the mainstream critics say, but agree this movie was outstanding. A lot of good guns in it as well (not enough handguns though).

  39. Handguns do not stop apes

    1. avatar Dryw says:

      There are several handguns which effectively assist the Alaskan Grizzly in shuffling off its mortal coil. Dimes to doughnuts those same could be relied upon to do similar for an ape… if absolutely necessary.

  40. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    That was fun reading.
    Thanks Ralph!

  41. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    Well, if Sly can hip-fire a machine gun in Rambo 2, why not Koba?

    Didn’t we see this same movie just a few years ago in a slightly different setting? It was called Avatar. I mean Dances With Wolves. I mean…

  42. avatar former water walker says:

    91% of critics liked apes-93% of moviegoers liked apes. Maybe you were asleep Ralph…from Rotten Tomatoes.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      They must be the same 90% of all Americans who want universal background checks.

  43. avatar former water walker says:

    Can’t take a joke huh?

  44. avatar DBPolice says:

    Because this is the only review that rattles off all the guns in movie and analyzes the message from a pro/anti gun perspective. And its probably the only one written by a man I would like.

  45. Saw it last night…great movie!!

  46. avatar CarlosT says:

    This is one I’m skipping just on the basis of the population math. There are at most 500,000 apes, worldwide. There are billions of humans. Even if 90% of us died out, there would still be over 700 million of us left. In reality, we have to work to not kill off these species inadvertently. If we wanted to kill them off on purpose, it would be done in short order, even if we had reduced numbers.

  47. avatar sandy and frank says:

    1. Too many ape sounds…sounds like some 90 yr old’s pet psychotic poodle
    2. Just plain terrible acting, I’d laugh at a mugger talking to me the way all actors did in this so called movie
    3. Plain and simple, a disaster, so the majority of the well wishers, I surmise, is having a Kentucky Jelly moment

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