War for the Planet of the Apes

"Extraordinary"

War for the Planet of the Apes Review


The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller, which avoids most of the annoying cliches of action blockbusters to offer something much deeper. As before, the film is anchored by a startlingly realistic motion-capture performance from Andy Serkis that fills the screen with complex emotions.

As the lab-created virus continues to sweep across the world, killing humans and giving sentient abilities to apes, a tenacious Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is making one last stand for mankind. While raiding a nearby ape village, he kills ape leader Ceasar's (Serkis) family, which finally convinces Caesar that peace with humans won't be possible. With revenge in mind, Caesar takes his faithful orangutan advisor Maurice (Karin Konoval) on a mission to track down the Colonel while arranging for the colony to make its escape. Along the way, Caesar reluctantly rescues an abandoned little girl (Amiah Miller) and a chatty orphaned ape (Steve Zahn). Meanwhile, the Colonel has holed up in a military base awaiting reinforcements from the north to wipe out the apes for good.

Unlike most action movies, this film plays out patiently, with long scenes that reveal internal motivations, deepening the characters and situations profoundly. Director Matt Reeves never rushes through a set-piece, allowing them to evolve organically, even if there are a couple of oddly convenient plot points later on. The point is that the film centres on the internalised thoughts and feelings of the characters, rather than their physicality in the big action moments. Which of course draws us into the complexities of the story and forces us to consider the bigger ideas swirling around. This also means that scenes never play out in predictable ways, constantly surprising the audience with refreshing twists that undermine and redefine the genre.

Over these three films, Serkis has created one of the most iconic movie characters in recent memory. He gives Caesar a strong inner life, with emotions rippling across his face in extended close-up shots. It's as if he's daring the Academy to remember this performance come awards season, reminding audiences that he's not just supplying a voice to the character, but an entire physicality. That said, the skill of the digital artists is remarkable as well. For a movie in which most of the characters are digitally rendered, there's never a moment when we see the seams. The expressive eyes and darkly layered script offer more depth than most dramas, let alone blockbusters.

Watch the trailer and clip for War For The Planet Of The Apes:



Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Production compaines: Chernin Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa,

Starring: as Caesar, as The Colonel, as Bad Ape, as Maurice, Amiah Miller as Nova, as Rocket, Ty Olsson as Red Donkey, Michael Adamthwaite as Luca, Gabriel Chavarria as Preacher, as Koba, as Cornelia, as Lake, Max Lloyd-Jones as Blue Eyes, Devyn Dalton as Cornelius, Aleks Paunovic as Winter, Alessandro Juliani as Spear, Chad Rook as Boyle, as Elder

Contactmusic

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