Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

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“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.”
– Caesar

SYNOPSIS: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. – via IMDB

Oh yeah! Went to see this the a while ago (my first official trip to the cinema in London) and I had a blast. Actually, I don’t know if that is the right phrasing. Either way, we are going to roll with it. Andy Serkis returns as the most amazing Caesar, and is as honourable as ever. War for the Planet of the Apes really goes for certain themes, and the conflict and strife between the apes and the humans reach a peak.

Woody Harrelson steps in as the truly reprehensible Colonel McCullough . Like I mean really. The man waltzes in and just destroys things all round. Harrelson was good, if underused, which was the same complaint lodged against Oldman in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. There is so much more potential here, but it doesn’t come. Serkis completely owned in his role of Caesar, but I expected no less from him on that front. His portrayal is brilliant, he really has made Caesar his own. Naturally the movie was visually stunning, too, because these movies have all just looked fantastic from the beginning. It definitely has heart and is excellent. I must be honest and say that Dawn is still my favourite.

The plot progression is also good here. It rapidly brings you up to speed with where everything is now in the world, and then it hits the ground running and it does not let up. You feel the fear and the anger here, and I would like to give the movie credit for that. The score also works hand in hand with the visuals to set the mood and tone for what it to come. I was also super pleased to see Maurice, Luca, and Rocket all together here, and I also found Bad Ape to be an amusing and yet sad (his backstory and the lasting implications on his psyche) addition to the movie. This movie didn’t really go between the two sides, as we have become accustomed to, giving us the first movie that is more about the apes than anything.

I feel this movie was totally worth the excitement I had stashed away for it. It totally had that Logan vibe going for it, like this was the last stretch, and it was most certainly serious. It was grim and heavy and it was not out of place. These movies started at a lighter area and have progressed through a whole array of emotions and settings, and have not once stumbled. These movies are a great example of how a film franchise, and especially a reboot franchise, should be handled. War for the Planet of the Apes is definitely worth watching!

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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“If we go to war, we could lose all we’ve built.”
– Caesar

SYNOPSIS: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. – via IMDB

GRADE 8.5finally got to see this movie, and I have been excited about it for the longest time. Ironically, I know, I was über sceptical about its predecessor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but after seeing it I was transformed into a fan, no to ways about it. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen since Caesar led the apes away from imprisonment, into freedom. I wanted to know what would happen after that ALZ-113 spread, that virus that makes the apes exceptionally smart but kills off the people. Let me tell you, the watch was well worth the wait.

The effects were simply amazing for this film, the CGI was something else. It was just gorgeous. The portrayals, too, were phenomenal, and Andy Serkis again simply owned the show in his role of Caesar. Again, the friendship between him and Maurice is so cool, they are such great friends. Caesar and the apes truly did build their little piece of happiness, their own home, settling into regular roles, very humanlike. Koba was a brilliant character, and his hatred and motivations are completely understandable, even though they are totally opposite from Caesar, whom we can also understand on the other end. It shows that each and every experience is subjective. Jason Clarke was great as Malcolm, though I must admit I was disappointed by how small a role Gary Oldman actually helmed at the end of the day.

The movie also managed to balance some complex and dramatic material, but also had a few things to smile at and laugh about throughout the film, which lightened it from time to time. The relationships and how they change between the humans and one another, the apes and one another, and then both groups towards each other is quite something. I feel that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gave a good look at both the humans and the apes, and both their sides and their feelings. They each had nice characters, and both had nasty characters, so no party was purely innocent or completely wrong, and it is bad to see what some people will do with some power.

The emotions that were put forth were complex, delving into many different aspects, from the humans side as well as the apes, and you can identify with both sides, though there is no doubt that the perception is almost skewed more in favour of the apes. Koba’s character was extensively used, and properly so. The movie was shot well and beautiful to look at. The scenes were the apes go to war, ultimately, captured the essence of confusion and fear perfectly. This movie was excellent, and well worth the praise it receives, it came together wonderfully.