Monday, July 31, 2017

Movie Review … War For The Planet Of The Apes

For nearly fifty years, the ‘Planet of the Apes’ films have been enduring successes.  The key to longevity has been its depth making it more than an action­-adventure ‘monkey movie’.  It has always been about how humans should share the world and accept those that are different.  Unfortunately this theme is more than relevant today with prejudices still sadly seen.  The third in the re-booted series and ninth movie in the overall franchise, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ continues these issues in its usual startling manner.

Leader of a tribe of genetically enhanced apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) fights a never-ending battle.  At war with earth’s humans, the reluctant simian warrior just wants peace amongst all inhabitants. Peace becomes unlikely due to people such as The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) who stops at nothing to eradicate the apes.  The ongoing antagonism quickly escalates with the war’s conclusion only allowing one victor to rule the planet.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ succeeds due to integrity. This isn’t a quick sequel cash-in full of non-stop action. It’s a thought-provoking adventure/drama film filled with genuine emotional intensity.  The action is incredible but it’s the personal moments in between that stay with you.  Caesar’s conflict feels genuine as he battles his animalistic and intellectual side as he tries not to give in to simple hate.  This drives him and his friends to seek new horizons amidst a gripping tale of survival.  The narrative connects seamlessly with previous entries, making ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ an invaluable addition to the series.

Director Matt Reeves deserves praise for making us care about CGI apes.  Each have their own characteristics making them unique and are amazingly rendered.  Unlike many CGI-driven films, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is exceptional in its detail for the primates and overall effects.  The CGI allows you to fully invest in the story with a freedom of movement adding to the realism.  The cast are all first-rate although it’s amusing seeing how the apes are more interesting to watch than their human counter-parts.  Money has clearly been spent in all areas to craft a solid movie and it is gratifying knowing care has been taken in producing a good story.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ rounds out the current series well.  Whether it’s the ‘final chapter’ is up to how many box office dollars it makes.  It’s a great sequel and a strong western-style move in its own right.  It does good credit to a long-running franchise continuing to fascinate decades after it blazed a trail on the silver screen.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



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