You can call Caesar, in a dark Czar. Please follow the leader.
Remember back in 2011 when FOX decided they were going to reboot the Planet of The Apes franchise, and everyone still had a sour taste in their mouths from the god awful Tim Burton adaptation. Well jokes on us, because 6 years later, not only have 3 incredible new Apes movies dropped, but this could honestly be one of the best trilogies of this century. War For The Planet of The Apes is the newest installment and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve always been a massive fan of this franchise and it really has revolutionized capture motion performances. These movies are story driven, which is rare these days and Caesar is truly a unique and special character. Rise of The Planet of The Apes really did a great job kick starting this franchise, but it wasn’t until Matt Reeves came on for directing duties, that this franchise really got some serious recognition. I can’t state this enough, Matt Reeves is going to do an incredible job at directing The Batman. I can’t wait to see what him and Ben Affleck can do together; I think it has serious potential to be the best Batman movie ever made. Only time will tell, but this review is about Apes not Batman, so let’s get into it.
So this movie picks up a little after the events of Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, and Caesar is still fighting the ape resistance against the humans. The Apes have grown in size, and are getting smarter with each passing day. The human resistance is still hell bent on killing all the apes and taking back their planet. After Koba (the bad ape from Dawn) tried to take down Caesar, now more than ever, all he wants is peace. He didn’t start this war, and he just wants what’s best for him and his ape family. When they are attacked at their home and countless lives are lost, well let’s just say Caesar goes off the deep end. If you’re going into this movie thinking it’s going to be non-stop action, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. Don’t worry there is some action, but this is Caesars swan song. This movie is not an action movie, it’s a story driven drama. It deals with humanity, loss, survival and what it’s like to feel hopeless and alone. I mean that for both the humans and apes in this case. The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) yes that’s all he’s referred too, plays the main bad guy who’s leading the resistance against not only the apes, but other humans as well. You see he’s a ruthless man, who wants to eradicate all the apes, because a new form of disease as been spreading, which causes humans to turn mute, and ultimately return them to their primitive state. Again the apes are being blamed for something that isn’t their fault. The irony of all of this is the humans are responsible for the way the apes are, and now blame them for anything that is wrong in the world. Nature and evolution can be a real bitch sometimes, so the colonel is killing anyone who has a trace of this virus, and that is why another human faction wants to put an end to him. He’s even convinced other apes to fight along side with him, and turned them against their own kind. Now it takes a pretty evil man to do something like that. It was a really interesting dynamic to see apes working along side humans, while fighting other apes. Woody was great in this role, he didn’t really need to say much to be intimidating, and I thought his scenes with Caesar were just fantastic, he really knows how to play a villain, and he was a great addition to the franchise.
Again Andy Serkis is phenomenal in the lead as Caesar, and maybe this time around he could get some Oscar recognition. It’s tough because its motion capture, but then when you actually think about it, and see the final product, it truly is remarkable how this whole movie comes to be. Especially when multiple people that are in scene are doing motion capture for the apes, and at the end of the day, you think you are actually looking at either fully CGI apes, or real animals. These movies have really brought to life, just what you can accomplish with motion capture, the apes are honestly just breathtaking. Not only are the apes incredible to look at, but so is the cinematography. The picture I chose for this review is from my favorite scene in the movie, because just how beautiful it looked. It’s snowing and the apes and the setting is just remarkable, there was something about having the apes roam around in a snow like climate that just made me appreciate what I was watching even more. Like those were three actors in that photo pretending to be apes, and that was the final product, it absolutely blows my mind.
The action we do get to witness comes at you pretty fast, it’s scattered throughout the film, but like I said before, this isn’t an action movie. I was okay with this movie being a slow burn, because it was the conclusion to everything that has come before it. They needed to finish off Caesar’s story and I feel that if this movie was nothing but apes fighting humans it would have taken away from something truly unique they had built for Caesar in the last 6 years. He’s a remarkable character, and one of my favorite movie characters in the last decade. You really just don’t see trilogies like this anymore, which focus more on telling a great story, they are usually just full of action and awful story lines. This is probably the best trilogy since Nolan’s Batman, and I would rank it 2nd behind in for trilogies of the century. I think they did such incredible things, not just from telling a great story, but what these movies have done for the film industry. I’ll miss Caesar and the apes, because with Reeves jumping ship and going to direct Batman, I don’t think FOX with put this franchise in anyone else’s hands. They rap everything up so well too, something that he deserved. I waited a few days to write this review, because at first I didn’t really know what to think about the movie, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how special this movie is. There really haven’t been any other movies like this, and I think we have these movies to thank for Disney finally going ahead and creating live action versions of some of our favorites. Jungle Book and Lion King don’t happen if these movies hadn’t come around, but that’s just my opinion. Never forget, apes together strong!
Check ya later.
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – War For The Planet of The Apes = 91/100