This movie opens in a way that brought to mind 80s war films (like Full Metal Jacket) and picks up at the exact right moment to (re)immerse you into a world of sentient Simians. Matt Reeves has a way with hyperbole that’s on full display in War. If you haven’t seen the first two films, you may want to watch them before watching the finale because it’s an story that will rip any blinders you may have about the intrinsic elements of human nature right off your face. Then it will plunge you so deep into the action and angst as Caesar veer’s off course in blinded by rage.
Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the rest of the sentient Simians live off the grid and in hiding but a human Colonel (Woody Harrleson) refuses to leave them in peace. Their respite comes to a tragic end just as hope crests the horizon. The Colonel’s actions triggers a cascade of events that ultimately leads to the capture and enslavement of all Caesar’s brethren. These scenes made for more than a few justifiably uncomfortable moments because the visual invokes reference to human events that are as striking as they are undeniable.
War for the Planet of the Apes does what very few films have managed before it; elegantly and painfully putting the suffering and stoicism of a tribe on full display. It’s a story about loss, rage, vengeance, hate, redemption and survival. I don’t think there’s a way to adequately describe the story arc so I won’t try. Just know this is a many layered metaphor for life that will (should) give you pause the next time you feel the need to proclaim that your right to exist supersedes all other claims to the same. This future world demonstrates that not only will evolution not improve Man’s understanding of his surroundings but is likely to continue eating its own until truly nothing salvageable remains. The journey of the Simians is equal parts tragedy and triumph; you’ll end up rooting for them in the end.
The entire film is shot with such clarity of image and profound imagery that it swiftly becomes a fully immersive experience. The pacing and character introductions unfold to perfection further investing you in the struggle and story so deeply you’ll blink when the credits begin to roll. If this movie, and Andy Serkis in particular, isn’t nominated all over the place during awards season then there’s no further point to giving out awards.
War for the Planet of the Apes is a close encounter with everything questionable, contradictory and worth about mankind. The only wrinkle is, it isn’t Man exhibiting the qualities humans desperately strive to believe embody man’s best self. War is real, relevant and raw. If you make it through this movie and don’t feel as though you have some serious thinking to do about who you are and what that means for the world, then you need to pencil in some soul searching on your calendar. The final installment of the Planet of the Apes series exceeded expectation, sets the trilogy apart as not only more than just a reboot” but may just be the best conversation starter for a whole host of issues plaguing the world. It was a fantastic ending to a brilliant (re)imagining of a well loved franchise well worth it’s name.
See the movie and not shed at least a single tear. I dare you.
In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn