There was the experiment followed by an uprising, the rogue Ape and then the flu that affected humans. Now there is just survival.
Set two years after the events of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ the human population within the Ape affected areas is still recovering from the virus outbreak. A flu which affected humans mental capabilities, placing a victim almost in to a vegetative state, or in mild cases unable to speak.
Caesar (Andy Serkis) has retreated in to the forests with his clan, living there in hiding with his young family.
The peace between the two races, that Caesar is hopeful for, is compromised by a rogue U.S. Army Colonel (Woody Harrelson).
With an army of his own making and the remaining Apes that once followed Koba they infiltrate the forests and force an unwanted war upon Caesar.
The Colonel himself wants to see the entire species wiped out, not only for revengeful motives but also due to his paranoia that the Simian Flu virus will continue to spread.
Broken away from the U.S. Army, the Colonel and his team have a base in the mountains where (he assumed) he would not be discovered, waging his own personal war at any cost.
War of the Planet of the Apes sets out to offer a conclusion to the prior two films and viewers get to see a darker side, more primordial instinct of Caesar. His prime for peace gets overshadowed by revenge.
With outstanding effects from New Zealand’s own WETA War of the Planet of the Apes is not only an action filled thrill of a film but also one that will emotionally divide the audience.
Apes against Apes, humans against humans and then humans aiming to decimate the Apes.
This third chapter throws humour in to the mix by way of an almost slapstick Chimpanzee called ‘Bad Ape’ (Steve Zahn). A name he picked up from being in the confines of a Zoo and believing this to be his title as this is what his human keepers would repeat to him constantly.
I guess that this was included to lighten the dark mood of the film (but isn’t that the reason we want to see a Planet of the Apes movie?). To be honest, the slapstick Chimpanzee didn’t do it for me and was more of a unwelcome distraction from the main narrative. The film would have done better without ‘Bad Ape’.
Nonetheless, we all forgave George Lucas for Jar Jar Binks – and ‘Bad Ape’ is no where near as bad as Jar Jar.
War of the Planet of the Apes is a foreboding encounter, an emotionally charged action film that takes it slow, at it’s own pace.
For me a perfect score would have been mandatory – if it weren’t for ‘Bad Ape’.
Running Time: 140 MIN
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer, Terry Notary
Production Studio: Chernin Entertainment
Distributor: 20th Century Fox