Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

It has come to this. From James Franco trying to use science to help people, to apes and humans having to reluctantly cooperate to survive… to a war. The end of an era.

Ladies and gentlemen… “War for the Planet of the Apes”.

When the ape colony faces a horrible tragedy, Caesar (Andy Serkis) has to go on the hunt for the army that caused this tragedy to get revenge. So now we have our ape-drama. That’s right, you heard me… ape drama. It’s not so much a straight-forward war movie as it is Caesar’s personal conflict, both against a physical threat and his own inner darkness. And this plot is tense, epic, intriguing, and emotional. Really, it’s pretty fantastic.

The characters here are all interesting as all hell, especially those we’ve gotten to know over several movies. Andy Serkis of course returns as Caesar, our portagonape. And you can tell that he’s in a much darker place here than in the previous movies. He’s struggling with his inner darkness, showing that he’s incredibly conflicted about his path of revenge. And that makes him insanely compelling. And Serkis is fucking fantastic in the role. Karin Konoval returns as Maurice, Caesar’s right hand orangutan. And Maurice is still a great character, the voice of reason. And Konoval is great in the role. Terry Notary returns as Rocket, another of Caesar’s closest pals. And he’s still a badass. And Notary is great in the role. Alright, new people time! First up, Woody Harrelson as The Colonel, a Colonel who’s a bit of a dick and is also the leader of the army that Caesar goes after. And while he at first can seem like a generic evil Colonel type character, you soon learn that he (and the other humans) are just desperate to survive. They don’t wanna be dicks, but they kind of have to so they don’t get wiped out. And Harrelson is great in the role. Then we have Amiah Miller as a little girl that Caesar and crew runs into during their journey. She can’t speak, but she is still quite interesting. And Miller is pretty damn good in the role. Then we have Steve Zahn as Bad Ape, a strange ape that Caesar and crew run into. He is meant to be a sort of conic relief character, which could go to shit very easily in such a dark and serious movie. But they manage to find the right balance of humor and emotion with him to make him fit in very well. And Zahn is great. Really, all the performances here are quite solid.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino and it was pretty damn fantastic. You do get tracks that are the big badass bombastic battle brass ones, but you also get a good amount of tracks that are a bit more quiet for the moments that need something more intimate and emotional. And it all comes together to make a beautiful package that enhances the movie in every way.

The movie was directed by Matt Reeves, the man behind “Dawn of the Planet of the Planet of the Apes”. And once again, he knocked it out of the god damn park. His directing here is big and sweeping, but also tight and personal, never losing sight of the characters among some of the bigger moments. And while this isn’t a straight-up action movie, there are still a couple of action scenes in this movie. And they are big, badass, and intense. The movie is also quite brutal for a PG-13… just thought I’d mention that. And I don’t think I really have to talk about the visual effects, because you already know that they are absolutely incredible. These apes look real. I have trouble believing that this was done with computers, the amount of detail in the fur and movements combined with external effects looks so incredibly real… but this is CGI, and it’s some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” is a fantastic movie, and solidifies this as one of the best trilogies ever. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, and amazing directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *APES!*. My final score for “War for the Planet of the Apes” is a 9,88/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “War for the Planet of the Apes” is now completed.

Apes. Together. Strong.

One thought on “Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

  1. Glad you liked it. I have only ever seen the Chuck Heston original, which was something great – at the time. I never bothered with any sequels or remakes though.
    Cheers, Pete.

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