While this weekend is looking to be another surefire walk in the park for Optimus Prime and his Autobot friends at the box office, next weekend is looking to go to the Apes. With the return of Caesar and his compatriots in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes comes a ten year gap between the events of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and the events we're about to see unfold. Previously, a video was released that painted those ten years in broad strokes, highlighting certain events that spelled the decline of humanity. Now, we have three new videos that go into more detail of just what humanity has gone through in that decade of decline.
Motherboard, Vice's "online magazine and video channel dedicated to the intersection of technology, science and humans," released the three videos chronicling years one, five, and ten of the timeframe leading up to Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. The first one, Quarantine, tells the story of a family in the first year of the Simian Flu crisis. Naturally, one of them is ill and this leads to a heartbreaking quarantine of the mother – which forces the father and the daughter to struggle to make a life for themselves in a rapidly deteriorating world. While the first year isn't exactly a cakewalk, the world as depicted in All Fall Down, the short from Year Five, is even more difficult to navigate:
By year five, resources are starting to tighten up and people are ready to defend themselves. Most of all, this young woman and her sibling are surviving by trading reminders of the old world in exchange for essentials. After a short but comprehensive encapsulation of this woman's life, we see the apes getting a little more confident in encroaching upon human space. By the end of the video, we're left with a sense that the apes aren't going to be satisfied with just surviving in their own respective niche. After all, supplies are as scares for the apes in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes as they are for the humans. Finally, the last short encapsulates the entire decade, through the passing down of one specific shotgun and the many hands it touches.
If you're a human and you're still alive in year ten, you're one of two things: immune or a really good shot. Through the ten year history of the rifle at the center of Story Of The Gun, we see the Simian Flu crisis start, progress, and ultimately overtake humanity's resistance. Yet people are continuing to do what they were programmed to do: survive at any cost. For some, the cost is a financial transaction; while others ultimately pay with their lives. All the while, those who are left behind cling to the idea of normalcy in any measure they can find it. The final shot of Caesar's silhouette is all we need to tell us that normalcy is never coming back, and our options are limited: fight the apes or co-exist with them.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes already comes with high expectations, and has already received some high praise from reviewers, like our own Sean O'Connell. With the stellar job 20th Century Fox has done with their viral marketing campaign, those expectations have only gotten higher – not only for this film, but also for it's scheduled follow up in 2016. These three shorts not only immerse you in the world of the film, they show just how thin the line is between our world and the world of Caesar's conquest. In fact, if you recut this the right way, this could be a spiritual sequel to Contagion.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes comes to your town on July 11th.