After the abysmal remake of the Planet of the Apes, many had been cynical about how the franchise could ever be revived. Then along came Rise of the Planet of the Apes, that showed the creation of the Apes that would come to have an intelligent civilisation on earth, which blew everyone away. Since then the sequels have been consistently great, and War for the Planet of the Apes is no exception to this.
As with previous flicks, Caesar returns as an ape who wants to protect his community of apes and to live in peace with the humans. Unfortunately, after the events that transpired in the previous films, humans are too darn paranoid about the power of the apes and won’t leave them to rest.
A group of soldiers with some smart apes, assault Caesar’s base, and despite the apes basically winning consistently as the humans keep attacking, Caesar loses his wife and son. This tragedy sets in motion the film as Caesar full of rage takes the battle to the soldiers responsible for the attack and uncovers more horrors at their camp.
The film does another great job of making you empathetic for the apes, and some humans, and despising the humans, and some apes. Like all the other films, it does present you with questions on how you would react in this situation because despite how much you love Caesar, you know the humans don’t have the full story, and can only see the threat.
The way these films have balanced the suggestion of questions, but not actually beating you over the head with it, is astounding. If you want a crazy action film, War for Planet of the Apes has it. If you want to think deeper about the whole scenario and reflect yourself on the characters for different reasons, War for Planet of the Apes does it, and at no point does it slap you over the face with it via excessive use of exposition.
Caesar continues to be a wonderful protagonist that you can’t help but love, assisted by amazing CGI, and fantastic acting from Andy Serkis. The CGI throughout the film is top notch, from all the Apes -of which there are any – to the big action sequences. The whole thing looks like CGI, but good enough to make you empathise well with the non-human characters.
The human roles, for the most part, is well done, but nothing outstanding, except for Woody Harrelson. Woody Harrelson does an amazing job, admittedly of his typecast these days, as the villain who is a grumpy old man, who can’t twist his mind to change, and as such keeps his hunt for the apes.
8/10 – War for Planet of the Apes continues to build its strength off the back of the rest of the Apes series. Telling its own self-contained story, it exists as an excellent chapter complimenting the previous entries before it and continuing to build on the apes civilisation.