Review: War for Planet of the Apes

Written by tha - bang from the blog blah blah blah on 17 Jul 2017
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Dawn of Planet of the Apes was an epic second movie, it was on the same scale as The Dark Knight to Batman Begins, T2 to Terminator, The Godfather Part 2 to the Godfather... so does this make War for Planet of the Apes equivalent to Terminator Genisys or The Dark Knight Rises or Spider-man 3 or The Return of the Jedi?

Let's dig in...

Andy Serkis is back as Caesar, the Nelson Mandela of the apes, leading a revolt against us bad humans. The motion capture, computer generated effects on the Ape is amazing. We believe that Apes are riding horses, shooting guns and crying for their loved ones 'cause what we see is rendered so realistically.

Matt Reeves (Writer - Director) tries to tie in War for Planet of the Apes with the original 1960's franchise and brings back some themes from Dawn. This is where I took issue with the movie. Dawn felt fresh; it expounded and gave new direction to the ideas that Rise touched on.

Specifically, the idea surrounding Caesar - if he is to build a world for the apes, how does he deal with prejudice and ideas of justice, like our own Tata?

War explores these same issues in a round about way; the ideas of collaborators had already been touched on, the idea of justice vs revenge had already been touched so thematically War doesn't bring anything new.

Plot wise, the film feels like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events rather than a thought out story that knows where it's going and how to build to it. So the story almost pulls a Spider-man 3 on us, it doesn't have too many villains but like Spider-man 3, it tries to redress a theme that the previous movie had already explored by contextualising it within the main character.

I didn't feel it. Aside from it being repetitive, it also took away from the antagonist. The film does not deliver on the promise of the trailer. Woody Harrelson's Colonel has nothing on Koba's antagonism to Caesar.

The story doesn't really build between the two due to the choice of basing the plot around traveling from one point to another. It's a road movie that loses sight of its antagonist, which the story suffers from.

The other thing I took issue with is the score. Matt Reeves lays it heavy with music cues in this one. The music cues are so clichéd that they became off-putting for me. The saving grace in this movie is Man Ape; his humour is like the only new addition to the franchise. Everything else we've seen and Matt Reeves did it better in Dawn for Planet of the Apes.

So for me this was the weakest film in the new franchise thus far; themes are regressive, a plot that meanders for most of the movie and no real build of conflict between the protagonist aka Caeser and the anatagonist The Colonel. This felt like a rushed first draft / not worthy follow up to Dawn of Planet of the Apes.

Rating **1/2

* Rubbish ** meh *** now we talking ****almost perfect *****buy this now

Actors in this post: Andy Serkis


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