You might expect a human to be the star of a movie about humanity’s survival. It’s telling, then, that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes focuses on a single ape — and a talking, digital ape at that. It’s a setup that has the potential to be goofy, if not wholly off-putting. But as it turns out, Dawn of The Planet of the Apes isn’t a story about humanity’s attempted survival — it’s a story about its self-inflicted destruction.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes picks up a decade after the events of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, though you don’t need to see Rise to appreciate Dawn. In the first film, humans gave the apes their intelligence with an experimental drug. Ten years later, humans have largely been wiped out by contagious and deadly side effects of the same experiment. Dawn tells the story of how the declining humans and the ascendant apes come to be at war.