Thanks for visiting my blog again! I really appreciate your support. It’s been a few weeks since War for the Planet of the Apes was released, but I want to review it anyway. I’m sure many of you were on the fence about seeing this film. A bunch of interesting films are coming out this year and a night at the movies isn’t cheap, especially for a whole family. People are being careful about the movies they see this year and it can be tricky to choose wisely. I can help you out by reviewing several of this year’s sci-fi movies. As usual, you’ll get to see the positive and negative elements of the film. War for the Planet of the Apes is the concluding chapter in a trilogy. This series of films is both a reboot and a trio of prequels to the original Planet of the Apes franchise. Let’s see where the series is heading.
Firstly, I want to congratulate this film for being the best installment in the trilogy. Unlike most cinematic trilogies, Planet of the Apes became stronger with each installment. That’s a very rare occurrence. I thought the writing was very strong with a good sense of direction. It’s not particularly complex. Basically, a genetically altered chimpanzee named Caesar led a revolt against mankind for several years. A deadly flu outbreak wiped out most of the human race and reduced the world to a post-apocalyptic setting. Caesar built a community for the apes, but the remaining humans want to exterminate them. Human beings are actually the ones who are waging war to regain control of the world. War for the Planet of the Apes is the grand conclusion to this battle.
I was surprised with the storytelling. This movie was very effective as a war film. It was also excellent as a post-apocalyptic movie. There are some homages to other war films like Apocalypse Now and Platoon. The humans capture many of the apes and keep them in prison camps. The concept is similar to the POW and concentration camps that we saw throughout history. I also thought the warfare seemed a little bit similar to the Vietnam War with guerrilla warfare. Soldiers fought in the jungle during the Vietnam War, but in this case, the apes and humans are fighting each other in the USA’s vast wilderness and mountains. Characters take more of a stealth approach to battle and take prisoners. It’s different than the trench warfare that happened in WWI and WWII. I assume the creators of this movie conducted a lot of research. It seemed like they were quite knowledgeable about the subject.
I thought Andy Serkis was great as Casear. He wants to do the right thing for his family and the other apes. But trauma from Caesar’s past still haunts him. There are some tragic events that happen during the story and it sends Caesar on a vengeful quest. I think it will be ironically easy for people to relate to him. In fact, all of the apes retain a strong sense of humanity. They have individual personalities, families, communities, goals, personal flaws, etc. Maurice is the orangutan who accompanied Caesar through all three of these movies. He’s compassionate and insightful about many things. Maurice always retains a strong moral compass and he’s a strong companion to Caesar. They added a new character named Bad Ape in this film. He’s kind of amusing without being out of place. I thought he was a breath of fresh air to the film’s somber and violent atmosphere. They also introduced Nova from the original films. She played Charlton Heston’s love interest in the first Planet of the Apes movie. In the current film, Nova is a young, mute girl who becomes part of Caesar’s group. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her in future installments.
The action scenes are incredible. I think the visual effects department deserves a lot of appreciation. The visual effects probably aren’t worthy of an Oscar nomination, but they’re still great. It also seemed like the actions scenes were totally appropriate for the war theme. The actions scenes are less similar to the Marvel superhero films or space operas like Star Wars. It’s much more like the action scenes in legitimate war films.
I also appreciated the strong connection to the original Planet of the Apes movies. It’s a little strange because the newer films are both a reboot and a prequel series. War for the Planet of the Apes is introducing many elements that we saw in the original films. I won’t give any spoilers, but the concepts are both similar and reworked to make the newer movies fit with the older installments. 20th Century Fox could easily make more films in the franchise. I would like to see remakes of the original films, preferably another trilogy. That seems like the logical next step. I read a few articles and it seems like 20th Century Fox is being receptive to more Planet of the Apes films. Let’s see what happens.
Even though I believe this movie is fabulous, it also has some noticeable problems. In fact, some of its issues are downright irritating. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes focused on at least one human character with a lot of redeemable qualities. Aside from Nova, the rest of the human characters were completely vilified. It’s going to be easier for many audience members to relate to the apes. The human characters are just violent individuals who make poor decisions. I wasn’t thrilled with The Colonel who was played by Woody Harrelson. The soldiers treat him like a Messianic figure and I don’t understand why. He lacks strong leadership skills, charisma, good communication skills, and the power of persuasion. It’s hard for me to believe anyone would follow him at all. Human beings haven’t learned anything from history in this film. They’re waging war against the apes and other human camps. Even after they survived the apocalyptic pandemic, human beings still can’t put aside their differences. I thought they should have enough sense to unite against the apes, but that’s not the case.
This movie also has a few obvious plot holes and convenient occurrences that made everything move easier through the story. It’s kind of like dropping things out of the sky. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but you’ll notice a few plot points that are overly convenient for the main characters. Some of the characters also make foolish decisions just for the sake of the plot. Those issues didn’t ruin the film for me, but it was distracting.
Surprisingly, I saw quite a few families and groups of teenagers in the movie theater. It’s largely an adult film. The film is PG-13 and it’s an accurate rating. Some teenagers might find the film interesting. Other teens might say it’s boring. I wouldn’t recommend bringing small children to this film. The violence and dark content might bother them.
Well, I definitely had a lot to say about this movie. I suggest seeing it on the big screen. There are so many fantastic elements about this film. The good components outweigh the bad ones. Actually, quite a few people clapped when the movie was done. It’s a very strong conclusion to this trilogy. If you love action, sci-fi, war films, or the post-apocalyptic genre, War for the Planet of the Apes will be worth the money. Leave a comment if you want to say anything about my review. I promise to write another post next week. Feel free to break out the popcorn and have fun at the movies!