War for the Planet of the Apes Review
Directed: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis (Caesar), Woody Harrelson (The Colonel), Steve Zahn (Bad Ape), Karin Konoval (Maurice), Terry Notary (Rocket), Ty Olsson (Red), Amiah Miller (Nova)
Even before seeing War for the Planet of the Apes, I already believed the Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy was going to go down as one of the best blockbuster trilogies ever. After seeing it, however, I’m still convinced. Much like the Wolverine trilogy, each installment has been better than the last. Only, in this case, the first movie was actually quite good. Anyway, enough of that. Lets discuss the story before this turns into a nonsequitor.
The movie begins two years after the previous film with the apes being hunted by soldiers under the command of a mad colonel. These soldiers are aided by a group of apes that formerly followed Koba in the previous movie, but now serve the humans for self-preservation. However, that does not prevent Caesar and his apes from winning the first contact. Caesar lets the surviving soldiers go in a sign of mercy. Though, due to the betrayal of one of his own, this only leads the soldiers to Caesar’s hideout (resulting in the death of his wife and oldest child). Afterwards, Caesar heads out on a trek in the snow--intending to go alone, but having several of his closest allies tagging along anyway. And along the way the group runs into a human girl that has lost the ability to speak, as well as a chimpanzee that had formerly lived in a zoo. During the course of the trip, it is discovered that the virus from the previous film is causing the survivors to gradually lose the ability to speak. Also, the apes that didn’t join Caesar on his quest are shown to be captured in the final act…
…thus linking the film more closely to the original series.
Now, this film is a powerful one. The acting is excellent, despite all but three notable characters having to due it through CGI. Their movements are even apelike. Speaking of which, the apes don’t look like actors playing apes but instead apes that can talk and use sign language. This made the movie very believable. Also, much like Wind River, significant deaths were played for their emotional act. This made the movie into one of the best final installments of a trilogy I’ve seen.