War for the Planet of the Apes Review (2017)

Director: Matt Reeves,

Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval

Rating: PG-13


After five years of war with the human, the leader of the Apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) is a highly sought-after item for the humans, led by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After recent events, Caesar decides to go on a quest to find the army of humans in order to put an end to this war, while the rest of the apes look for a new place to call home.

What The Film Did Well:

What this Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy has done and improves on with every movie is the special effects and motion capture. Of all the movies that have relied on motion capture heavily, these movies do it better than anyone. A lot of this starts with actor Andy Serkis who has played motion capture characters such as: Gollum, Supreme Leader Snoke and King Kong and with each performance he delivers, it is better than the previous. In War for the Planet of the Apes they make almost all of their character through CGI and motion capture, but do it with such attention to detail that it never looks unrealistic.

Image via 20th Century Fox

The score for this movie was amazing. There were a couple moments where it didn’t quite click for me, but Michael Giacchino delivered another piece of music that became as a part of the movie as the characters. It adds emotion to this movie and helps carry the plot along. This score gets soft when it needs to and become triumphant in the areas that it desires it. This was one of the better scores in recent movies and it is no surprise coming from Giacchino.

There are a few battle sequences throughout this movie that were executed remarkably. You wouldn’t think that a movie that relies so much on CGI could have such realistic battle scenes, but this movie most certainly does that. These scenes, particularly in the beginning and at the end of the movie are visually pleasing and become works of art that brilliantly connect to one another in a great fashion. These scenes help move the story along and are no there just for show and add a poignant exclamation point to a rare, but great trilogy of movies.

Image via 20th Century Fox

This movie did a great job of completing the character arc of Caesar. Caesar’s arc carries him from son to solider to a leader and does it very tastefully. From a character building perspective, this was the darkest story for Caesar. War of Planet of the Apes takes a look at the emotional side of Caesar. It helps the audience realize what is the driving force behind all of his actions, both in this movie, but in both of the preceding films as well. It deals with themes of revenge and sacrifice, which was not something that I really expected going into this movie. Along with these themes, it takes a close look at Caesar’s darkest fears and the demons that haunt him from his past which I though was executed perfectly and added so much to an already beautiful movie.

The acting in this movie and the entire series has been great. I already talked a little bit about Andy Serkis, but I really hope he gets and Oscar nomination. I can understand how people do not think he should be deserving because it is a motion character, but eventually there will be an actor who gets a nod in one of those roles, so why not Serkis? He carries this character in every movie so well, and portrays the character in a fashion no one else could have. Woody Harrelson delivered another great performance as The Colonel. He is the opposite of Caesar in many ways, but they have a quality in both of them relating to doing what is best for the people they are in charge of leading.

Image via 20th Century Fox

What The Film Didn’t Do Well:

There were some parts of this movie that felt way too drawn out. It was mainly in the third act of the movie where this was the case, but was very noticeable. The first two acts moved along so quickly and it just met a stalemate towards the end that wasn’t too enjoyable. I had wished that it would have continued with the quick paced adventure that it was instead of making longer plot points longer than they should have been.

Another part to this movie that I though was unnecessary was the comedy relief. They use the character to Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) to generate a lighter tone, but I thought it hurt the movie, rather than help it. The audience laughed at most of the funny parts, but after a while it just felt overdone. It wasn’t something I think was granted. It had this dark theme and by adding this overused comedy, it became a tad kiddish and this is not a movie that is designed to appeal to children.

Image via 20th Century Fox

Final Thoughts

Lord of the Rings. Star Wars Original Trilogy. Indiana Jones. The Godfather Trilogy. These are all some of the names that come to mind when thinking of the best movie trilogies and now this Planet of the Apes trilogy deserves to be included in that conversation. The third movie in this reboot gets an 8.4/10. This wasn’t the best movie in the trilogy, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad movie, just different than the previous two. It surprises with thought and emotion and will likely get better with age.

War for the Planet of the Apes

Image via 20th Century Fox

What do you think? Did you see War for the Planet of the Apes? Is, so comment your thoughts below! What other movies do you want to see a review of? Remember to subscribe to get updates on new posts!






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