Friday, July 14, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes ***1/2 (2017)

By far the best of the reboot trilogy of Apes films, War for the Planet of the Apes matches the original 1968 movie in the power of its allegory. The previous film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ended with most of humanity wiped out by a virus as the apes are becoming the dominant species on the earth. By the third film, humanity is reduced into tribal societies.  Most of the film focuses on the apes, humans play a limited role in a bold creative choice.  Woody Harrelson plays a Colonel Kurtz type military leader who wants to wage a war of extermination on the apes. The enlightened Chimpanzee messianic leader Caesar wants to lead his people to freedom.  The apes look more realistic than ever, Andy Serkis deserves special recognition from the Academy for his groundbreaking work in these films.  By far the darkest of the trilogy, it's about the end of one culture and the rise of another.  Harrelson excels in his character's introduction, you know where's he's coming from! In the last half hour the movie takes the allegorical themes up another notch, bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion, and leaving the door open for more.


  1. Totally agree. This movie was a great way to conclude Caesar's story and is the best of the trilogy. Looks like the movie only did OK during its theatrical run. Hope that doesn't ruin our chances of seeing this type of film and the stories fleshed out in further movies.

  2. I guess the Apes franchise doesn't quite have the cache of DC and Marvel movies, but it was by far one of the best summer releases of 2017. I'm not familiar with the expanded universe, but there's so much more to explore if they decide to make more of them.