War for the Planet of the Apes Review
Director: Matt Reeves
So, it's the third instalment of the latest Planet of the Apes saga and not necessarily the last. Though the film certainly does feel like a good conclusion to this trilogy. The story has come a long from when Franco was raising Caesar, and it's struggle to remember the young happy chimp before he became saviour and leader of the apes.
Koba's defection unfortunately dashed any chance of peace between the species thus leading to the title of this film. Caesar and his troop have set up camp and made a home for themselves whilst a human, military army are hellbent on hunting out Caesar and exterminate them. It delves deeper into the psyche of Caesar, expanding on his understanding, compassion and self fulfilling prophecy of being more human then any ape would like.
There's a lot going on in this film and it does so well merging many different elements that might feel borrowed from other movies, but still holds true to a Planet of the Apes film. Reeves and writer, Mark Bomback watched a number of films before commencing work on the film; obviously including the original and past Planet Apes films. It really does show a seamless melding of westerns, biblical epics and war movies.
Apocalypse Now would be a prime example of one of these films that seems to be mirrored here, with Woody Harrelson's Colonel mimicking Apocalypse Now's Colonel Kurtz. Unfortunately, Harrelson isn't as great in comparison and is the weakest part of this film, which is only saved by the other familiar apes and a couple of new additions. Namely Zahn's Bad Ape who is quite refreshing.
Besides Harrelson, the performances are amazing, Serkis and Co. providing some of the best capture acting ever seen. The special effects as a whole is highly impressive and is perfectly balanced with the artful shots that echo the original series. As said before, the film has a lot going for it. There's a fair amount of decent action whilst still getting the audience emotionally invested, however it does tend to drag it's knuckles in parts.
Overall, apart from Harrelson's weaker part where he should of had more impact, it's possibly the best of this series. All the elements are there with a good score from Michael Giacchino. Personally it's my favourite of the trilogy.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 9
The Extra Bonus Point: 0