Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller.
Director: Matt Reeves
Release date: 11th July 2017
Set two years after ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, Caesar (Andy Serkis) has managed to evade capture and stay off the radar. The apes are all living a relatively quiet existence, hidden away in the forest. Caesar has his wife and two children to look after and all seems peaceful. Then one day, they are attacked by a small group of soldiers. The apes fight back and capture some of them. Even though there are many casualties, Caesar releases the men and tells them never to return. It’s not long before a pivotal and shocking event takes place, and Caesar is driven wild with rage and revenge. He sends the apes off to relocate to a better area, and decides to go after the leader of the army, The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) alone. Some of his closest allies tell him that there’s no way they’re letting him make the journey alone, and begrudgingly, after much persuasion, he lets them accompany him. Their journey is long, with many hazards along the way. They soon discover that the evil Colonel and his men have captured all of the apes and incarcerated them. This fires Caesar up even more and now as well as revenge, he must fight to save hundreds of apes, including his own son. Can Caesar avenge his loss and saves the apes or will he just be another casualty of the War between the humans and the apes?
This is the third movie in the huge Planet of the Apes series, with the first one, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ being released back in 2011. We first met Caesar as a small, tiny chimp, and he was used as a guinea pig in an experimental drug trial that gave him human-like intelligence. He was put into an ape sanctuary but fought against his captors. Later, in defiance, he gave the drug to a load of other apes and assembled an army. The second movie, set 10 years later, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ was released in 2014 and we then found Caesar leading the newly modified apes into battle against the humans. A deadly virus has spread across the human population, and a small band of them come up against the apes. This new movie, ‘War For the Planet of the Apes’ begins with a short paragraph about each previous movie, giving a great arc into the story by refreshing your memory of what has gone on before but without over complicating things.
If you are a fan of the other two movies, then you will definitely not be disappointed with any of this movie. Visually stunning for both scenery and the apes themselves, the movie will leave you questioning if you’re watching actual apes. The CGI and mo-cap in this movie are simply breath-taking, and it takes movie making to a whole new level. There is a lot of focus on the ape’s eyes and you can definitely see why. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, and it’s definitely true in this case. You get as much emotion through the eyes I think, as it’s possible to get. In some respects it makes them that little bit more ‘human’.
I definitely found myself siding with the apes in this movie and hating The Colonel and army guys with a passion. The apes just wanted to be left alone, to live in peace, but the army guys were having none of it. I’m not ashamed to say that I did shed a few tears during this movie, and I’m sure most of you will be exactly the same. It’s not often that you follow a character like Caesar all the way through his life in a movie series. He grows to be a brave and courageous leader, respected and revered by all the apes. Andy Serkis, now famed for his mo-cap performances, deserves an award of some description for his acting in this movie. He is just astonishing. I also really loved the ‘Bad Ape’. He added a little bit of comedy to the movie and I loved his little bobble hat.
This movie will be one of the biggest movies this Summer, and possibly this year. It will appeal to a huge demographic of people, and I think it will be one of those movies that future films will be measured against. Please make sure you go and see this movie. You won’t be disappointed.