Director – Matt Reeves

Breakdown

The third and final installment of this Apes series picks up in a society where human population has dwindled and are planning an uprising against the primates. Ceasar (Andy Serkis) and his tribe of apes are ambushed by Colonel (Wood Harrelson) and his unjust militia called Alpha – Omega. Out for revenge Ceasar and his crew decide to take the fight to Colonel and are lead to a warehouse where humans are holding apes captive. Ceasar and Colonel finally arrive face to face and battle it out for their respective species in a war to decide which will claim ownership of the planet.

Nose Candy

“I did not start this war. I fight only to protect the apes”

“Tell your colonel we are not savages. Apes fight only to survive.”

“We will find a way out of here. Apes together”

“What would Ceasar do”- in ape language

“This is my fight. I may not make it back. Make sure my son knows who his father was”

The writing in this film was exceptional as always with great one liners and perfectly executed monologues. I do wish however there was more cohesion with the ape language. Such as why do all the other apes speak this top-secret ape language but Ceasar speaks perfect English but they all understand each other. How come the little human girl can’t talk but can perfectly comprehend the ape language?

Style Points

  • Gun scope shots
  • Slow motion ambush scene
  • Apes embracing by waterfall
  • Intense stare down between Ceasar and Colonel by waterfall
  • Horse heist scene
  • Knockout fade to black with camera sideways shot.
  • Footsteps as soldiers prepare to battle with apes
  • Star spangled banner during cage scene
  • Point of view shots through the cage
  • Cool avalanche wipeout shot

Role Play

Andy Serkis (Ceasar) was excellent here as always. His persona shined through the incredible CGI and various other effects. Ceasar was a role perfect for him tapping into his Lord of the Rings Gollum territory. He does not have to be on-screen in human form to be effective because he has perfect mannerisms and expression.

I saw in an interview that Woody Harrelson even saw himself back in this role and was shocked at how ruthless he was. It worked because he scared the living shit out of me. Really Colonel was terrifying and had great moments through out including his unveiling his master plan monologue as he encountered Ceasar.

Steve Zahn as Bad ape stole the show for me as he brought in a lot of comedic relief to the film that was very dramatic and adventurous in tone.

Money Shot

Incredible sequence as the apes battle Alpha Omega for supremacy. As the Apes attempt to escape their conditions, the A O strike with a missile attack. As the apes tote their weapons the sounds of bullets decrease and the score just playing was outstanding. Preacher shoots Ceasar with a crossbow so in return Red kills preacher. Red is ultimately shot in the head for his troubles. Ceasar then utilizes multiple supplies in the area to blow up the facility.

Randumb – Apes riding horses is just strange to me.

Final Touch

Talk about going out with a bang! The conclusion of this Apes franchise is a spectacle that has to be witnessed for its advancement in CGI and special effects. Whether it was the humanlike characteristics of the apes or the beautiful realism of its exotic locations such as the waterfalls or snow-covered mountains the visuals were exquisite. Not to mention incredible performances by most notably Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson. I know I am going to get ridiculed but even though the finale of Apes is clearly the most violent it did not blow me away. I thought War for the Planet of the Apes put in the most effort so why did I enjoy it the least of the three? At times I did feel as though this film took itself to seriously with the exaggerated enslavement of the Apes getting beat down in addition to an extra long runtime. War for the Planet Apes was not just the fight for humanity by an internal struggle for Ceasar. Ceasar had a battle within himself to find out if he possessed any compassion or was he just an anomalistic creature. Also the story of Ceasar wanting to showcase the best for his son. This apes series is definitely going to  be remembered and hold a place in cinematic history. I can’t get that ooh ahh ahh out of my head.

-Caleb Harris

Any thoughts on War of the Planet of the Apes or the write up? Please leave a comment.