War for the Planet of the Apes Doesn’t Monkey Around

War for the Planet of the Apes Review

HUGE SPOILER WARNING

It’s official, the third installment of the Planet of the Apes prequels is the movie of the Summer in 2017. Andy Serkis cements himself as the best CGI-actor in the universe, and Woody Harrelson lived long enough to become an awesome villain.

Andy Serkis Doesn’t Disappoint

The actor formerly known as Smeagol, comes out of the woods once again as the noble-leader Caesar. Serkis shows once again, that he’s the best actor in show business when a bunch of puffy little green balls are plastered across his dome. Serkis’ Caesar had me engulfed in the apes’ struggle to live in peace. His performance added to an already great film.

The War for the Planet of the Apes continues on the stellar journey of Caesar’s path for peace and the survival of what’s left of the human race. The film reminds the audience that the humans are still suffering under the Simian Flu, the ‘illness’ that ironically gave the apes their now-higher intelligence. In the first act, you’re introduced to The Colonel’s (Harrelson) army after responding to the distress call sent from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. They’re searching for Caesar’s base but stumble upon a smaller camp. The battalion attacks the apes but succumb to massive casualties after Caesar charges in with reinforcements. Caesar then sends the surviving men to the Colonel, to express mercy by Caesar.

Serkis shows once again, that he’s the best actor in show business when a bunch of puffy little green balls are plastered across his dome.

The Colonel later surprises Caesar by killing his son and his wife while the rest of the apes are asleep. Caesar, filled with rage, vows revenge. Showing characteristics of his fallen comrade-turned-enemy, Koba. Caesar, along with his four closest allies, decide to go after The Colonel while the rest of the Apes venture to find a safer home. During Caesar’s travel, they find a mute girl suffering from sort of illness, later to be revealed as an evolved form of the Simian Flu.

Later, Caesar and crew find another ape, voiced by Saving Silverman’s Steve Zahn, named ‘Bad Ape’. Bad Ape leads Caesar to The Colonel’s fortress, but Caesar faces a shocking discovery. The Colonel has captured and enslaved all of the apes, including Caesar’s last surviving son. Caesar is later captured after leaving his small group.

The third act begins when The Colonel reveals that other humans are coming to fight his army. Caesar is shocked to hear this revelation as he assumed more humans would join forces to wipe out the apes once and for all. The Colonel explains that the Simian Flu is evolving and robbing humans of their speech and everything that makes them ‘human’. The Colonel then explains that he killed his own son to prevent the spread of the Simian Flu.

The Colonel forces Caesar into slave labor along with the other apes, to build a stronger wall to help defend against the coming human forces. Bad Ape and Maurice devise a plan to help the Apes through an underground tunnel. As the apes are escaping, the attacking humans forces commence their assault on The Colonel’s stronghold. Caesar confronts The Colonel, but it is revealed is suffering from the Simian Flu. Bloody nose, vacated speech, The Colonel begs Caesar to kill him. Caesar refuses, leading to The Colonel committing suicide.

As Caesar is attempting his escape, he his shot in the ribs by a soldier. Caesar later throws a grenade at two gas tanks, destroying the stronghold and The Colonel’s army. Reunited with his camp, Caesar leads his family and comrades to greener pastures. Revealing his mortal wound to Maurice, Caesar explains the apes are strong with or without him. The film ends with Caesar succumbing to his wound.

Movie of the Summer (2017)

The War for the Planet of the Apes cements this trilogy as one of the best in cinema. The story, dialogue, and acting are all astounding. Serkis’ performance of Caesar ended on a high-note and Harrelson portrayal of a psychotic colonel deserves much credit.

Compared to other summer blockbusters, including Spider-Man Homecoming, WFTPOTA (that’s a long acronym), deserves the title, Movie of the Summer. The Planet of the Apes prequel saga has definitely made movie-goers forget about Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes from the turn of the millennium.

My only negative comment about the film is that it continues the trend of the main human-protagonist not surviving to the sequel, off-screen. First, James Franco’s Dr. Will Rodman. Then, Jason Clarke’s Malcolm. This is bothersome, especially to fans who’ve connected with these characters. At least in Dawn, you learn of Rodman’s death through Caesar, but in this film there is no mention of Malcolm.

This is a must-see film, especially if you saw Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.