Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Movie Review: War For The Planet Of The Apes

I have been a Planet of the Apes fan for as long as I can remember. I think I wouldn't have even been over 5 when I first saw the original movies. We used to have an old box set of videos (yes videos - do kids these days even know what they are?), that I watched so many times. I remember being SO disappointed when one day I kept watching one of the videos past the credits and saw the "Making Of" documentary and found out that the apes were really people dressed up. I did have my suspicions, but I could ignore them until I saw that.

This movie is the third in the rebooted trilogy - following Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. As the name suggests, it follows the war between the humans and apes (you know who I was rooting for). Caesar (Andy Serkis), tries to make peace with the humans, but after the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) and his soldiers launch a second attack on the apes, resulting in carnage, that this time Caesar takes personally, Caesar and his comrades leave the rest of the apes and set out through the woods armed on horseback, to exact their revenge.
About half way through the film they reach their destination, and find their fellow apes imprisoned by the Colonel and his soldiers, forced to spend their time starving and working to build a wall (hey Trump). After a bit of scheming and sign language (for the most part the apes communicate worldlessly), the apes work out how to escape the prison. Things did happen to line up quite conveniently to make their escape possible, but it still wasn't without its challenges, and it was complex enough to stay interesting.

It's heavy on the sad moments (humans suck), but has a few lighter moments too, with the addition of an ex-zoo ape they come across, "Bad Ape" (Steve Zahn). Bad Ape's dimwitted but sweet personality leads to a bit of comic relief here and there and created some of my favourite moments in the film. The CGI was AMAZING, the apes all look so lifelike, so much detail has gone into it. If you're interested in hearing more about all of that, have a look at this article on Collider here.

How does it stack up against the other two movies? It's quite different, in that it was much more ape centered and didn't have a huge focus on human characters and their personalities. The Colonel is really the only human who we get to know, although they do pick up a little human friend along the way. That's not a bad thing though, but it gives the movie a bit of a different feel, as did the higher level of intensity and darkness. 

If you're a fan of the Planet of the Apes franchise, this is an absolute must-see. Even if you're not and you haven't seen the other movies, I'm betting you'll still enjoy it!

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