Saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes this past weekend.
It's a pretty safe bet that virtually everyone over the age of 25 who sees this movie will have already seen one of the earlier Planet of the Apes movies. It's even safer to say that the number of movie-goers who rooted for the apes in those movies was statistically insignificant.
Yet the vast majority of the audience for this latest installment, which is actually a prequel, will root for the apes. And all they needed to do was show us the ape protagonist -- Caesar -- doted upon as a baby, and then show him somewhat unjustly locked up and tormented by a sadistic worker at the animal shelter where he is kept.
Are we really that susceptible to manipulation? Are we so easily swayed to even root against our own species?
This isn't a review, just an aside. But while we're on the subject, the movie itself was entertaining. James Franco seems more naturally suited to play a stoner than a scientist, but it was more important that he be empathetic for this role, and he played that effectively enough. Frieda Pinto, as the romantic interest, needed only to look luscious, and she did that admirably. And the action scenes were creative and gratifying. Worth seeing.