WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 20 mins.

war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-poster

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 20 mins.

Starring Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller and Toby Kebbell

For Freedom. For Family. For the Planet.

It’s been 15 years since the outbreak of the Simian Flu that plagued humanity began. In “War for the Planet of the Apes”, Caesar continues to lead his fellow apes in the War against the human forces. After an attack that leaves many dead, both humans and apes, Caesar allows those he took prisoner to return safely. With fellow apes urging Caesar to leave, he elects to stay at their home. After a betrayal, tragedy strikes Caesar as a soldier sneaks-into their home during the night. Desperate for revenge, Caesar, Maurice, and two other apes go-out in search of the soldier, while the rest of the apes move to a new home. Along the way, Caesar encounters an ape in-hiding that he uses to find the soldiers. Upon arriving at the base, Caesar realizes that his group of apes have been captured by the soldiers. The rest of the film follows Caesar’s personal struggle with revenge and the lengths he must go to save his kind.

Andy Serkis returns as Caesar, the leader of the Apes. Woody Harrelson plays The Colonel, the man responsible for Caesar’s rage and the leader of the faction who are hell-bent on wiping out the apes. Steve Zahn plays a new addition to the apes, Bad Ape. Amiah Miller plays Nova, an orphan that Caesar encounters whom Maurice adopts. Karin Konoval returns to play Maurice, the wise and kind right-hand-man to Caesar. Judy Greer returns to plays Cornelia, Caesar’s beloved wife. Terry Notary plays Rocket, Caesar’s companion. Max Lloyd-Jones plays Blue Eyes, Caesar and Cornelia’s oldest son. Devyn Dalton plays Cornelius, Caesar and Cornelia’s youngest son. Ty Olsson plays Red, a traitorous apes who serves The Colonel. Gabriel Chavarria plays Preacher, a young soldier in The Colonel’s army. Toby Kebbell briefly-reprises his role of Koba.

In one of the most underrated trilogies of the last twenty years, “War for the Planet of the Apes” marks (what appears to be) the franchise’s end, giving us one of the most entertaining, jaw-dropping, and rage-inducing finales in recent memory! The film gives us perspective from both sides, which is a welcome change. While showing the Apes and the human’s actions, the viewer is left pondering how they would feel if in the same situation. As we’ve come to expect, Serkis steals the show as the leader of the apes, Caesar. The motion-capture work (constructed by the magicians at WETA) have undoubtedly raised the bar once again, pushing the boundaries of film’s capabilities for the present and future. Zahn is also a welcome addition providing comedic relief, but the biggest surprise comes from Woody Harrelson. I was greatly-impressive by his range at playing the so-called “villain”. His menacing, terrifying portrayal is an excellent addition and what they truly left me stunned. The scope of the film is riveting as well, providing the audience a vantage point on a massive scale that is so intensely-immersive that you feel as if you are there. Matt Reeves’ impressive work not only is showcased through the storytelling, but also through the impressive visuals strewn-throughout the film. Completing the cinematic scale of “War for the Planet of the Apes” is Michael Giacchino’s booming, pulse-racing score; providing a truly epic sound for the deserving film. Throughout the trilogy, Reeves (and Rupert Wyatt) has given us a great balance of raw ape and human emotion, showing not only both sides, but how both sides see their way as correct this film’s story is no exception; marking a fitting conclusion to the journey. “War for the Planet of the Apes” has a run time of 140 minutes, never sowing down from its relentless pace until the credits roll. In my opinion, Reeves’ “Apes” offerings have continued to improve with each film and the result is one of the most emotion-filled, epic summer blockbusters in recent memory! Hail Caesar!

“War for the Planet of the Apes” marks the closing chapter as Caesar and the apes attempt to survive and protect themselves from the humans. The film features impressive visuals, a great story, and an excellent score. If you are heading the movies this weekend, go see “War for the Planet of the Apes”!!

5/5

Tony Mosello