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"War for the Planet of the Apes" Movie Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
Alec Zander profile image

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

In the latest entry of the Planet of the Apes franchise, Caesar (Andy Serkis) finds himself at a crossroads. Still reeling from the death of the traitorous Koba, Caesar has been doing his best to keep a peace between the apes and the humans while raising his sons and teaching them the warrior ways. But when a ruthless man only known as The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) seeks to kill Caesar in the hopes of toppling the ape uprising, things escalate to heartbreaking and horrifying levels. Caesar vows to kill The Colonel, but doesn't count on what he finds along the way.

War for the Planet of the Apes is a brilliant, fantastic film that breaks your heart and conflicts your mind. As far gone down the dark road as The Colonel is, you still somehow find a small slice of pity for him once he explains his actions. Woody Harrelson perfectly portrayed The Colonel, showing off how much he has grown as an actor. He started out as a zany, sex-obsessed funny man and has now become one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood today. Andy Serkis also taps into his more emotional side and delivers one fantastic performance. Anyone that says motion-capture actors aren't real actors have a lot of learning to do. Andy proves not only with his portrayal of Gollum in the Middle-Earth Saga but also with Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes saga that this form of acting is the most challenging and demanding of all.

Director Matt Reeves also deserves complimenting here. He co-wrote the film and then weaved together the storyboards, likely spending long hours every day just to get each scene perfect. His effort certainly paid off, as this is the most emotional and most intense of all the Apes films.

In conclusion, all I have is praise for the film itself. So why the 3.5 rating you ask? Well, because of the title. As you will see, this was not really a war film as the title proposes. This is more like a test of will for Caesar and his group. The title should really be Vengeance for the Planet of the Apes. Guess that title wasn't quite as catchy. Either way, it's a definite recommend. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.

© 2017 Nathan Jasper


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