Watch: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Celebrate the Fourth of July with JFK

By July 4, 2014

If nothing else, the marketing for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has worked damn (perhaps damned? and dirty?) hard to make sure that audiences are walking in to the theater with at least a smidge of sympathy for the apes (and especially their leader, Caesar). Sure, Rise of the Planet of the Apes may have helped us feel an emotional connection to the apes (and, again, mainly Caesar), but Dawn looks to be interested in folding in an intellectual element. Basically, maybe these apes are right.

In celebration of Independence Day, Fox has just rolled out a brand new television spot for the Matt Reeves film, one that draws upon one of the country’s greatest leaders (it’s John F. Kennedy, though that is probably fairly obvious once this thing gets going – no one sounds like JFK except JFK) to offer up some political motivations for the destruction that’s going to go down in the second film in the blossoming film franchise.

The new spot shows the apes basically marauding through an already-ruined city, chasing large packs of human beings (which, admittedly, doesn’t exactly sound like the sort of thing that would make us feel for the apes), but it’s overlaid with JFK speaking about peace and freedom, specifically: “to regard any threat to the peace and or freedom of one as a threat to the peace and freedom of all.” It works twofold — to explain why the apes are attacking (they’re protecting their own) and to shine a light on what the film’s humans failed to do (regard apes as equals in need of the same rights). Yeah, this one is pretty fraught. Take a look:

And, if you’d like to hear the full JFK speech that this spot lifts from (it happened at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on July 4, 1962), you can slide on over to the JFK Library site. America!

This next chapter in the new Apes franchise stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo, and Judy Greer.

Need more Apes? Check out our glowing review of the film.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens on July 11.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss,, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.