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War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017) Review

Ape Logic, Ape Politics, Ape Action and Monkeying around… its got it all!

Release Date: July 14th, 2017

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama


“I did not start this war. I offered you peace. I showed you mercy. But now you’re here. To finish us off…for good.”

I slacked on this movie hard, because I didn’t see Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) until this weekend, I slacked on that movie harder and now I’m kicking myself because holy crap War For The Planet Of The Apes is a powerful film.

War For The Planet of the Apes is a Action, Adventure, Drama film that takes place after the apes have suffered unimaginable losses, Caesar (their leader) wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

War For The Planet of The Apes is directed by Matt Reeves. His filmography consists of Cloverfield (2008), Let Me In (2010), and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014). I really enjoy Matt Reeves’ style of filmmaking, especially in these darker films. I really like his take on the Planet of the Apes universe, and I honestly cannot wait to see The Batman (Release Date Unknown) after seeing this movie. He is able to manipulate the scenery so well and the way he directs is just so tight. I felt like everything that he put on his film had meaning. He was also able to show that the human race are incredibly dreadful, minus the portrayal of a young child, where we see the other side of humanity. But I was invested the entire time to the Apes, I like how they were pretty much “human” where the actual humans were portrayed like animals, almost as if the humans were rabid dogs, ready to fight for the last piece of meat. He made you side with the apes and feel their emotions, I find it a lot more intriguing that only some of the apes are able to talk (if you’ve seen the other movies in this Prequelboot franchise, you know why that is) but I felt like I got a lot more from the apes sign language. I find it difficult to watch movies that are almost 2.5 hours long, I find my attention fading and wandering, but War of the Planet of the Apes kept me engaged and invested for the entire run time.

War Of the Planet Of the Apes is written by Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback. Reeves’ writing filmography consists of Let Me In (2010). Bomback’s filmography consists of Live Free Or Die Hard (2007), Total Recall (2012), and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014). I really liked the flow and the context of the script of this movie. There were really great monologues between Cesar and the Colonel, that didn’t feel hammed up or forced in any way, all the characters (apes and humans) were extremely well written and had their own distinct personalties that I found was super intriguing to watch unveil. There was great dialogue, great one liners, some genuine heart-wrenching and hilarious scenes. I thought it hit a really nice balance between being dramatic and action filled.

The cinematography in this movie is excellent, there were some beautiful shots that you could admire the scenery around the story. There was also some very interesting and intriguing parallels that I noticed when watching this movie, that I feel like should be discussed as it added a lot more to the movie overall (which is don’t find spoilerish, but i’ll keep it quite brief). There were images that reminded me of the slave era and the holocaust era that added a lot to the tone, emotion and the overall the integument of the movie. For me, adding these different images really made me more investment in the story and what was going on, as I have studied a lot of history in my life.

Also War Of The Planet of The Apes as of writing this review has my favourite movie character of the year in the form of Bad Ape. Bad Ape is adorable, cute and hilarious. I really really loved whenever he was on screen.

The film stars Andy Serkis as Ceasar, Woody Harrelson as The Colonel, Steve Zahn as Bad Ape, and Karin Konoval as Maurice.

Andy Serkis’ filmography consists of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003), 13 Going On 30 (2004), The Prestige (2006), Flushed Away (2006), Enslaved: Odyssey To The West {Video Game} (2010), Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Andy Serkis does a great job at what he does, whenever I think of motion capture acting, I think of him, and his portrayal of Gollum (This coming from the guy who isn’t a giant fan of the LOTR trilogy). I am a huge fan however of his portrayal of Ceasar. I think theres more heart and emotion in that character that I’ve seen in a lot of other movies, so much so that he seems human. To be able to play an animal that well, to be able to have the audience invested in him and his story is a huge accomplishment and Serkis accomplishes this so well.

Woody Harrelson’s filmography consists of Natural Born Killers (1994), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), A Scanner Darkly (2006), No Country For Old Men (2007), Seven Pounds (2008), Zombieland (2009), Friends With Benefits (2011), Seven Psychopaths (2012), Now You See Me (2013), Out Of The Furnace (2013), True Detective {TV Series} (2014), Triple 9 (2016), and The Edge Of Seventeen (2016). I actually really like Woody Harrelson, as any good actor he is a chameleon, he can play any role, any genre and play it with such precision. I genuinely forgot I was watching an actor in this movie, and particularly an actor I like, because I hated his character (I hated it because it was played so well and he was an asshole). Harrelson is always a pleasure to watch no matter what role he is in.

Steve Zahn’s filmography consists of Crimson Tide (1995), Friends {TV Series} (1995), You’ve Got Mail (1998), Happy, Texas (1999), Stuart Little (1999), Saving Silverman (2001), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Dallas Buyers Club (2013),and Captain Fantastic (2016). I brought up Steve Zahn’s career because Bad Ape is my favourite character in this movie and my favourite character so far in 2017. I didn’t even know it was him until my brother told me when I got home that he played Bad Ape. Bad Ape like I previously said is cute, adorable and hilarious. It was a genuine pleasure whenever he was on screen, and definitely stole the show for me. I like Steve Zahn a lot more these days than previously, he has made a lot of interesting choices in his career the past couple years, and Big Ape is definitely my favourite. (I’d like a Big Ape spin-off movie, COME ON FOX GIVE ME THAT MOVIE).

I loved all the characters and acting in this movie, it was a genuine pleasure to watch.

I felt like this was so much more than an action movie with Apes and Humans, it was a brilliant survival story, and the undertones and overtones were just really well thought out and brilliantly adapted to the screen. The context of the apes survival, really drove this movie home for me.

War For The Planet Of The Apes gets a 5/5 from me, it is extremely well-crafted and very entertaining.  I think this is the best out of Rise, Dawn and War and this is definitely one of my favourite films of the year so far.

Until Next Time!


Upcoming Reviews:

Annabelle: Creation – I have an advanced screening of this on August 9th so my review will be up that night (I have some of it like my breakdown of the cast & Crew pre written)

Logan Lucky – I have an advanced screening of tho on August 16th.

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