War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Directed by Matt Reeves.
Starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Judy Greer, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Michael Adamthwaite, Gabriel Chavarria, Max Lloyd-Jones, Sara Canning, Aleks Paunovic, and Chad Rook.
After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.
Opening with a recap of the previous two films and an epic fight between man and ape where there are numerous casualties; the final entry in the latest Apes trilogy depicts conflict and internal struggle unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
Caesar (Serkis) is now leading his ape army but is troubled by memories of his villainous friend Koba (Kebbell) and begins to worry that they’re not so different. After the slaughter of his wife and eldest son by The Colonel (Harrelson), Caesar sets off to act out his revenge. Accompanied by his loyal friends Maurice (Konoval), Rocket (Notary) and Luca (Adamthwaite) we get to see beautiful images of the apes riding horseback across the wilderness and the various conflicts that they run into. Whilst this film may be called “War”, there are only short bouts of action. The war is inside Caesar and his battle to be better than the humans and accept the world without his wife and eldest son. The finale is epic and emotionally moving and nearly moved me to tears.
Seemingly coming out of nowhere when Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released back in 2011, the subsequent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and now War, cements it as one of the finest modern day trilogies. Each film is better than the previous and builds on the Caesar’s character. The moment in Rise when Caesar first screams “NO” is extraordinary and as the films have progressed his speech has continued to evolve; The Colonel even mentions at one point about how he is “nearly human”. A lot of this is down to the tremendous performance from Andy Serkis. His commitment to motion capture and the way he’s built this character up is nothing short of spectacular. Along with Maurice, Luca and Rocket, each actor has dedicated themselves to perfecting the movements and characteristics of their respective animal. There are times when watching the films that I genuinely forget that they’re CGI. The raw emotion is there beneath the pixels and I defy anyone not to be in awe of this cinematic achievement.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★