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A large part of the film deals with the escalating tensions and violent conflicts between the apes and humans, and the war scenes are absolutely gut-wrenching. Though the apes never do anything that humans haven't done in battle, it seems far more awful when we realize that yet another species has fallen under the spell of warfare.
You might think that Dawn is a dystopian story because of the Simian Flu plague, but it isn't. This is a war dystopia. It goes far beyond "war is hell" into something like "war is our genetic destiny as hominids." When the apes pick up machine guns as if it were the most natural thing in the world, it's like watching a condemnation of our species that's darker than anything The Road could ever deliver. Our penchant for war has infected another intelligent species, and the curse of humanity will live on even if we die out.