After watching this emotional end to the rebooted ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy, I only have one thing to say. Bravo!
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Amiah Miller, Steve Zahn and Gabriel Chavarria, is the emotionally charged, epic conclusion to one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time.
After being forced into a war with the humans after the events in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, the apes suffer unimaginable losses at the hands of a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson). This leads Caeser (Andy Serkis), who is still haunted by Koba (Toby Kebbell), to begin his own quest to avenge his kind and one that will decide the fate of each species.
I should mention that I never saw this in theatres. I also heard from friends that this was a disappointing movie and wasn’t what they had expected from seeing from all of the promotional material. So going into it, I had pretty mild expectations. But as I sat through this 140-minute long movie, I couldn’t look away and by the end, I was left speechless.
This isn’t the action-packed epic that the trailers seemed to promise. Although there are a couple of amazing action scenes in it, this is an emotionally charged movie that focuses on Caeser as he wrestles with his inner demons and it also ends up being a great POW movie.
To begin, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ has the best motion-capture I’ve ever seen on film. As I was watching it, I was trying to tell myself that this was CGI, but it’s real. It looks so real and that credit goes to the animation team, which deserves the credit for making the apes look so believable. Seriously, watch ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ and try not to be blown away by the motion capture in this, it’s beyond amazing.
All this talk about motion capture leads me into one of the biggest positives for not only this movie but the entire trilogy. Andy Serkis as always is amazing as Caeser. He gives his best performance to date as this dark and emotionally unstable version of Caeser. He is on screen for most of the movie and is just one of the best things about it. He is just amazing as Caeser and this was a perfect performance by one of the most underrated actors of all time.
The other motion capture performances are also as great as always. From Karin Konoval as our favourite orangutan, Maurice, to the surprisingly effective comic relief from Steve Zahn as Bad Ape. Each and every performance from the motion capture actors/actresses were amazing and these make the apes some of the most interesting characters ever put to screen.
Onto the human side, Woody Harrelson is also brilliant as the ruthless colonel who is trying to wipe out the apes. He is chilling to watch and also becomes the most interesting human character in the entire trilogy. Amiah Millier gives a great silent performance as a little girl that travels with Caeser and co. throughout the movie. She may have no dialogue, but she is just brilliant to watch.
The lighting and cinematography are just magnificent in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. Most of the movie is set in the coldness of the snow and it actually makes you feel cold by just watching it. The cinematography is just a feast for the eyes and it’s one of the best looking movies of the year.
Now, compared to the previous two entries in the trilogy, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is easily the darkest in the series and that may turn off some viewers. Even though ‘Rise’ and ‘Dawn’ were quite dark in tone, this is just on a whole other level and can be slightly disturbing at times. There is also a lot of Holocaust imagery in this movie and that is disturbing enough on its own. But this shouldn’t worry you as in my opinion, it works well.
The only real negative I had with the movie and it’s really the slightest nitpick and that is that it shouldn’t have been called ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. The reason I have for this is why many people would have been disappointed by it, there isn’t a lot of war in it. With about two or three well-filmed action scenes here, it may disappoint a lot of you who may have been expecting more action. If they removed war from the title and put something a little more fitting, it may have gone over better with many, even though it was one of the most well-reviewed movies of the year.
Overall, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is a near-perfect conclusion to the rebooted ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy. From the great performances, beautiful cinematography and the best motion capture ever put to film, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is one of the best movies of the year and is slowly becoming my favourite out of one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time!