Damn civilised apes! – War for the Planet of the Apes Review

This is what happen when the world runs out of Twinkies – Tallahassee goes crazy.

Going back to 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, to me, was just a middling summer flick which had a compelling premise and was thoroughly entertaining. It had its moments and a fitting finale. Nothing to go apeshit over (pun intended). Jump ahead 3 years, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theatres. Made me pay attention. Maybe this wasn’t just another summer blockbuster franchise. The writing, visual effects, political subtext, character conflicts and the unbelievable execution of apes riding horses and wielding machine-guns bowled me over. There it was, an impressive movie which left the door wide open for a final chapter. But how would they one-up Dawn? There was no way!

Way.

War for the Planet of the Apes finds our beloved Caesar doing everything he can to ensure the survival of his clan and preventing their annihilation in the approaching war. Facing off against the apes is Woody Harrelson, the colonel of a military human faction hell-bent on wiping out the primates. While the title makes it sound you’re in for a battle of galactic proportions, the reality is very different. War builds up on the same patterns as Dawn – the underlying themes of slavery, love, revenge and loss are masterfully directed. Viewers paying close attention to the screen will grasp these quiet undertones. Motion capture of Andy Serkis’ Caesar and the rest of the apes – still astonishing. Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) is superb, providing the much-needed comic relief. Michael Giacchino’s score may not be legendary here, but it complements the film fine.

It’s not a film without faults, not big ones anyway. It does what it set out to do beautifully. However, disappointment does come from the taxing runtime, the overabundance of dramatic segments, the slow-moving plot and the lack of action sequences. The overall result feels less ambitious when you look at the previous chapters, even with the sensational climax. Its better to appropriate your expectations.

War may as well be one of the better blockbusters this year, in times when CBMs are still getting bigger and better. However, the trilogy certainly has no equal when it comes to quality.

Rating : 4/5

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