Genre:Action, Adventure, Drama
Cast:Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Terry Notary, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval
In a world of cinema where it’s incredibly rare for a sequel to live up to its predecessor, it’s very hard to believe that a franchise will continually improve. Planet of the Apes has had its ups and downs in the past, but if this recent reboot has taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood reboots can be more than worth making.
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ closes this trilogy of films in a big, yet tender way, which I feel may divide certain audiences. These films have truly morphed into something completely different than what was presented in 2011’s ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, but in order to show progression and to deliver on emotion, I truly think they did the best they could’ve possibly done here. I don’t want to overhype this film, but ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is my personal favourite of this trilogy and for what it sets out to accomplish, it’s a near masterpiece.
If you’ve found any enjoyment throughout the first two films, here is why this film demands your attention as soon as possible. Without giving away any spoilers, fans have been wondering if there’s going to be any sort of tie-in to the original franchise, tying this trilogy up in a nice bow. All I’m going to say is that fans will be pleased with the decisions that are made throughout the duration of this installment. Picking up many years after the conclusion of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar’s story has become something much deeper, becoming an ape who is willing to do absolutely everything in his power to protect his kind and his family. Coming across soldiers who are solely around in order to wipe out the rest of the apes, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ really is just a search for these soldiers. Once again, without giving too much away, it also becomes a story of revenge, as well as a story of survival and escape. What pulled me into the film more than the previous two installments though, was the ambitiously present sense of drama. The human cast changes throughout each film, due to the fact that it needs to progress the ape storyline first and foremost. These movies have always been about the apes and has always made us want to root for them. That being said, the first two films had a human character for Caesar to latch onto, grounding the film in reality (for the most part), but Caesar has become a completely different ape and there aren’t very many friendly humans remaining. This makes it very difficult for truces to be made and also opens the door for an endless amount of drama. There are quite a few moments that had me in tears, whether it was due to a death or simply due to the fact they are humanizing these apes so much, to the point that I felt I was watching a three-decade-long arc unfold in front of my eyes, involving talking apes. These films have always had a dramatic side to them, but this is definitely most deep.
The trailer for this film makes one think he is in for a war feature between apes and humans, and while he may get that throughout the last 10-20 minutes, the title is much more metaphorical than one might’ve expected. ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is a drama, plain and simple. It’s a character study, as well as a sweeping adventure. This is easily the slowest film in the trilogy, but the final moments of this film would not have felt earned if the movie was a flat-out action movie. This slow tone fit just right and when levity was needed, the movie wasn’t afraid to toss in a gag or two. If you’re expecting an action film, I would suggest not seeing it. This film is a very heavy piece of drama to take in. There are very few trilogies that get better as each film comes out, but I truly think we have another ‘Lord of the Rings’on our hands here. No, the epic-ness and grand scale of the films like that isn’t present, but when was the last time that you watched three Hollywood productions that continuously got better than the last? It’s been a very long time.
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ truly is a masterpiece. From terrific motion capture performances, to progressing very well into the classic films, to silence becoming more emotional than any line of dialogue, this film is a true revelation in my eyes. This is a fantastic trilogy with a perfect and beautiful conclusion.