A review of the movie “War For Planet Of The Apes”

“War For Planet Of The Apes”

This is the third movie in the rebooted franchise which has used some confusing titles. In 2011, we had “Rise Of ..” and then in 2014 there was “Dawn Of ..” when really title-wise it should have been the other way round. Now (2017) comes “War For ..” but actually this is not a war so much as a battle and the third title would have been more appropriate for the second film.

So viewers need to appreciate that, notwithstanding the title, this latest segment in the saga is the most subtle and humanistic of the trilogy and it is the apes and not the humans who show these humanistic characteristics.

Indeed this is by far the most ape-focused of the three works with only one significant speaking role for a human: the Colonol played by Woody Harrelson. His character is immensely evocation of the mad Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalyse Now” and he rules from above over his work camp of brutalised apes like Amon Goeth in “Schindler’s List”.

So, if there is no full-scale war as suggested by the title, there are huge connections with the Vietnam War and the Second World War.

This is a dialogue-light film with few characters – notably the apes leader Caeser (once again brilliantly realised by Andy Serkis) – actually talking, while other apes make sounds translated as sub-titles and some humans are simply mute.

Instead this work is a visually treat with some wonderful cinematography as well as state-of the-art special effects. The image of four apes riding horses across a beach is a stirring one and the coast scene cannot help reminding us of the iconic concluding scene of the first “Planet Of The Apes” movie half a century ago in 1968.


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