[Images Provided by 20th Century Fox]

Film Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

09:46 July 19, 2017
By: David Vicari

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third and seemingly final chapter in the revived Planet of the Apes films, which started with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 then followed with Dawn in 2014. However, this trilogy does tie itself to the original Planet of the Apes films (1968-1973), especially in the conclusion of War.

So, most of humanity has died out, but small pockets of humans are waging war against the super-smart apes. After a devastating loss, ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis in a motion-capture performance) seeks revenge against human and military leader The Colonel (Woody Harrelson). In the mix is a little mute human girl (Amiah Miller) that the apes adopt as one of their own.

This is a mix of an old-fashioned western and a war picture, but with apes. There is a long stretch in the middle where Caesar is captured by the enemy that is somewhat sluggish, but the movie survives with a suspenseful action finale. But you know, I was glad that the movie wasn't wall-to-wall blurred digital action mayhem. Instead, we get character struggles and a final confrontation between Caesar and The Colonel that surprises.

It would have been nice to have a cameo from James Franco's character from Rise, for he was a scientist and could have figured out a way to survive the plague. That, or appearances of characters from Dawn, would have nicely tied this trilogy together. Still, this is a respectable revival and conclusion of a classic film series.

*** out of four

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