Howdy ladies and gents its review time once again and today I get to talk about another film which was one of my most anticipated films of the year, War for the Planet of the Apes. Now of all the films I was looking forward to this year including Logan, Guardians 2, Spider-Man and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars Episode VIII, War for the Planet of the Apes was easily in the top 3. Back in 2011 Rise really blew me away with its interesting story, characters, and action, and then Dawn came out 2014 and completely floored me with the character-driven story, drama, and visual effects. And since the first trailer dropped last year I’ve been beyond hyped to see if this film would deliver the epic third chapter that this trilogy needed and the simple answer is yes. I am telling right now War for the Planet of the Apes is a great film and it deserves your attention.
So the story can be described as the following:
“After the apes suffer unimaginable losses when they are discovered by a military group, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.”
What I loved about this story was not only how it was a continuation of the path laid out by the previous films, but also how it presented a darker, more dramatic and personal tale. This was a story about power, emotional conflict, family, leadership and making choices based that could have major ramifications both in the short and long-term. I liked how the film presented both sides of the argument for why both the apes and humans should survive over the other, and something else I loved was how the film made me feel. I felt emotions in the last film, it here it was on a higher level, I felt on edge throughout as the tension and suspense was so well executed, but on top of that the emotional material in this film was so good, so many key moments had me shocked, laughing, happy and very sad. This film is very story and character focused and while they are certainly moments where the action kicks off, it is not an action film as some of the trailers suggested, but more so a drama with action elements incorporated, so anyone expected an action-focused film maybe end up being bored and disappointed in certain moments of downtime.
As for the cast, they were all really good. Firstly let’s start with Andy Serkis as Caesar who since the first film in this series has impressed me with the performance capture and here he does his best work not only with the physical material but also with his voice, with more coherent sentences it has allowed for drama and depth in his performance. Caesar has to deal with a lot when it comes to being a leader and family man, dealing with demons from his past and present and making decisions that not only affect him but his apes too, and it’s fascinating to see how it plays out. Then there’s Woody Harrelson as The Colonel was magnificent, he was frightening, ruthless and had a presence on-screen that made you feel like the air had left the room, Harrelson killed it in the role. Also, Amiah Miller as Nova was really good, she did well to act in this film with no dialogue and having to act through facial expressions and physical movement. And everyone else who played apes in the film was really good especially with Karin Konoval as Maurice, Terry Notary as Rocket, Ty Olsson as Red, but it was Steve Zahn as “Bad Ape” that stole the show. At first, I thought he may piss me off because of his odd and quirky personality, but he ended up being so funny and endearing.
When it comes to the presentation it is fantastic. One the visual side of things the film looks amazing with some great cinematography and action sequences, but also some wonderfully framed shots of interior and exterior locations, I striking use of light and colour considering the state of the planet at that point in time, and of course, the CGI for the apes is insanely impressive. Somehow the filmmakers improved even further than they did in Dawn back in 2014 with the Apes looking more realistic than before where you could almost mistake them for really good animatronics. And the film score from Michael Giacchino is incredible, he not only borrowed some of the key themes he crafted in the previous film but also created new material for this film which was well suited for every scenario, whether a scene called for fear, mystery, tension, drama or anything else, he had all based covered to a tee.
In conclusion, what can I say other than War for the Planet of the Apes is a really great film that I think you should check out. The film gave me everything I wanted and then some and I wasn’t expecting to leave the cinema so filled with emotions, but that is really a credit to the talent of Matt Reeves, Andy Serkis and everyone else who made this film possible. Easily in my top 3 films of 2017.
So have you seen War for the Planet of the Apes and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀