(AotN) The final installment to the Planet of the Apes trilogy, War for the Planet of the Apes, has opened up to mostly positive reviews and an estimated $134,613,493 domestically (according to Box Office Mojo). What bad could another positive review do? War for the Planet of the Apes is not only a really great film, it’s the best film out of the trilogy and here’s why…
Matt Reeves pulls double duty as director and co-writer of the film along with Mark Bomback. It’s the second Planet of the Apes film to be directed by Reeves with the first being Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. War for the Planet of the Apes continues the story of Caesar (Andy Serkis) as he avenges his family after an attack led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson).
Although the premise of the film is a common one, Reeves and co. still found ways to make it an intriguing story. First you have the revenge story between Caesar and the Colonel which makes the war between the apes and humans become even more personal for each side. It also makes you side with the apes because of the outcome of the Colonel’s attack. The story is well paced and easy to follow, even with the subtitles. What helps the film is having characters that you actually care about.
Woody Harrelson is a true villain in the film. From his actions, his mentality and even his mannerisms, the Colonel is an ultimate villain. You will be hating him within his first two minutes on screen. I have always appreciated Harrelson’s acting abilities and this film shows how underrated of an actor he is. But the Colonel is not the only newest addition that standout in the film.
Amiah Miller who plays Nova, makes a good addition as well. Her character is infected with the simian flu which means she’s almost ape-like. She does not speak in the film but shows a lot of emotion though expressions and does a pretty good job at it. My favorite new character to the trilogy along with the Colonel is Bad Ape (played by Steve Zahn). Bad Ape provides all of the comedy in the film. Although the comedy is not necessary for the film, it is unforced and actually funny. It makes Bad Ape easily likable. The character’s backstory is also an interesting one and adds a bit more depth to the film.
The story, the acting and even the CGI in the film is all pretty on point. Obviously with talking apes you would probably assume that the film would have loads of CGI (computer generated imagery) and if you did in fact assume that, then you are definitely correct. Even though I’m a huge supporter of practical effects and I would like to see them used more than CGI, the CGI in this film is by far some of the best I have seen in a film. Aside from the obvious fact that apes do not speak like we do or that they do not have an army equipped with armory, with the story being as good as it is and the CGI being pretty amazing you almost forget that these are computer generated characters. I would say that that War for the Planet of the Apes will definitely receive an oscar nomination for special effects.
Although this film has so many positives it does have some a few negatives. For instance there’s a small plot hole where some of the apes are scanning the camp where the Colonel happens to be. During the time that Caesar is scanning the camp with a pair of binoculars, Luca, one of Caesar’s most trusted ape allies, is asking Caesar in sing language if he has spotted the colonel, Caesar responds even though he doesn’t see Luca asking the question. It’s a little hole in the film but is pretty noticeable. There are a few more minor issues story wise but nothing big enough to take you out of the story.
One other issue I have with the War for the Planet of the Apes is the title itself. The title seems way too long and could have been shortened without losing it’s intensity. Example: “Planet of the Apes at War” is a title that gets the point of the film across right?
When it comes down to it the film is a near perfect way to end the trilogy but it also leaves it open to more films if 20th Century Fox decides to go that route. The fact that theres a nod to a couple of characters from the original Planet of the Apes films makes it seem this trilogy could be a possible prequel to the original franchise. War for the Planet of the Apes is great story with great characters that will keep you invested. The film can be predictable at times but it still keeps you wanting to see what happens next. An added positive is that War for the Planet of the Apes is a great way to make a case for Matt Reeves directing and writing the next Batman film. Reeves did a very good job at making the trilogy better and better helming the final two films in the Apes trilogy.