Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Mark Bomback, based on characters by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Matthew Weiner
As both a follow-up to 2011’s Rise of Planet of the Apes and spin-off of AMC’s Mad Men, this hybrid sequel/prequel/reboot/off-shoot is as loud as it is contemplative. Initial fears of Apes franchise fans (“Apies” as they like to be called) that the inclusion of Don Draper was nothing more than a crass attempt by cynical Hollywood execs to appeal to the Asian youth market prove to be unfounded. The story of a group of primates who team up with a legendary ad man to subjugate the remnants of humanity is a universal tale that, much like the titular Don, transcends time and space. Director Reeves deftly melds the two juggernaut franchises into a singular epic so seamless, you will shit your pants. Domestic returns should be strong and Jon Hamm’s immense popularity among North Korean adolescents should only bolster the film’s international box office to boot.