Movie Review: War For The Planet Of The Apes makes for APErfect trilogy
Until you see War For The Planet Of The Apes on a big screen, the following sentence may not make sense. This film's visual effects are too good.
They are astounding and so flawless, they create a flaw - the realism is distracting. To create giant robots is CGI child's play.
To create a living (and exceptionally hairy and craggy) thing - that is a feat.
Director Reeves knows the effects are good. He shot so many close-ups of these motion-capture simians. And because of that, you get the full effect of Andy Serkis' acting as the aged Caesar.
There is so much in the eyes.
It is a lesson for any big-budget films looking to add CGI characters (I'm looking at you, Beauty And The Beast).
The other (mildly) frustrating aspect of War is the setting.
Has any franchise so willingly refused to give the fans what they want, yet been so successful?
Like many others, I had hoped we would finally be out of prequel territory and finally at Planet Of The Apes by now.
While War seems to cover similar ground as 2014's Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - two years on, apes are in the woods, humans have their rundown base - there is a different heart to this story. And you don't need to have watched the previous films to get into this.
Bad guys kill a man's family, a man who has tried to be peaceful. Now he is coming for them.
It is part revenger, part prison break and part western.
But it is that mixture of tech and Serkis brilliance that makes you forget your hero is an ape. You are with him for the journey, and he brings the anger and emotion on every level.
There must have been the temptation for this to be an ape version of John Wick or Taken, with Caesar taking down his enemies singlehandedly.
But you get more than that.
It’s that mixture of tech and Serkis brilliance that makes you forget your hero is an ape. You’re with him for the journey, and he brings the anger and emotion on every level.
Some of the film references are a bit too on the nose. Woody Harrelson's Colonel is a walking amalgam of Apocalypse Now bits, though with more depth.
Steve Zahn's Bad Ape helps lighten moments and Amiah Miller as the young girl Nova provides the sweetness while not saying a single word.
While it is dark in places, War rounds out one of the best trilogies out there.
If this is a success, can we please have the reboot of Planet Of The Apes?
STARRING: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval
DIRECTOR: Matt Reeves
THE SKINNY: A military faction led by The Colonel (Harrelson) raids the ape hideout to kill Caesar (Serkis). Instead, they kill his family, sending the ape leader on the path of vengeance.