War for the Planet of the Apes is the 3rd installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot. The film brings back Andy Serkis as the main character Caesar along with director Matt Reeves. The rest of the main cast includes Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, and Amiah Miller. This is one of my most anticipated movies of the year so let’s review.
War for the Planet of the Apes follows up the events from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It takes five years after the death of Koba and apes and humans are at war. Woody Harrelson plays the Colonel who is out to kill Caesar and have humans reclaim the Earth. So does this movie capture the same magic that Rise and Dawn had?
Overall I liked War a lot. It concludes the story of Caesar and the story of this rebooted trilogy perfectly. What these movies do well is that they’re smart and complex. It’s not just humans vs apes. There are characters with motivations that fit their own agenda so it’s not as predictable as you’d expect. As for the performances, everyone brings it. Of course we have to start with Andy Serkis’ motion capture performance as Caesar. He brings an intense and emotional performance to the movie, like he did in the previous movies. What Serkis has done to the movie industry as a whole in mo-cap can’t be understated. He’s played Gollum, King Kong, and now has made another iconic character in Caesar. What makes Caesar great is that he’s not perfect and he makes mistakes. In an ironic way, it makes him very human. The rest of the actors as the apes bring it in the movie as well. Woody Harrelson (who is the only real human character in the film) did a good job as the villain; he just wasn’t in the movie as long as I thought he would be.
The one other positive that stands out, not just in this movie but in the Apes movies as a whole, is the CGI. It’s truly mind-blowing how realistic the apes look. At a point in the movie, they zoom in on the apes face and I said to myself “That a real freaking ape”. It’s really remarkable how detailed the apes are and I really don’t understand how other studios can’t make CGI look this good.
There are some negatives that I do have to address in this movie. Now these movies are dark, but this movies takes that to another level. Sooooo many bad things happen in movie and it gets to the point that it’s hard to watch. It’s overkill in a way. Also the title for this movie is false advisement. There isn’t much of a war in this movie. Sure there’s action, but no huge battle that we were lead to believe.
In conclusion, despite being extremely dark with lack of action; War for the Planet of the Apes is still a really good movie. Plus if you watched the previous two movies, this a very worthy finish to Caesar’s story. When we look back at this trilogy in 10 years, it should go down as one of the best in history.
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)