Film Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

Things get real in the third instalment of the Planet of the Apes reboot. Two civilizations are on the brink of extinction, and only the strong will survive…. Things are about to get apeshit.

War Apes Group Shot

A military group known as Alpha-Omega have been on the hunt for Ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) for some time now. They’ve gone so long without a sighting that rumours have circulated that he may actually be dead. However when Alpha-Omega lay waste to Caesar’s hide out in the woods, they discover through his mercy that he is in fact, very much alive.

He grants the humans that survived their lives and freedom as an offering, with the understanding that the Apes be left in peace. Caesar’s kindness is met with a retaliation by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) that ends fatally for those he loves.

Broken, and tortured by apparitions of Kobo and the decisions that has led him to this point, a vengeful Caesar goes rouge. Sending the clan ahead towards a potential new home, he and a small group work to track down the Colonel. However with more than one obstacle along the way, Caesar’s lust for revenge may have to go unquenched.


In all honesty, I didn’t intend to go and see this movie at all. Someone offered me a spare ticket to a pre-screening and I decided to be social and tag along. And I’m glad I did.

What was fantastic about this movie was the story; it never once lagged. It moved steadily forward, with obstacles appearing for the characters to overcome and twists and turns to be expertly navigated. There was also a beautiful (metaphorical) dance between Caesar and Preacher (Gabriel Chavarria), one of the humans he saved, that was woven through from start to finish which hinged upon the whole a life for a life dilemma.

I had forgotten what a likeable character Caesar was; he is smart, wise and resourceful and seeing him now, after the journey he had taken over the past two movies gave a nice sense of completion. He was a child, he was a warrior and now he is just a sweet old man on a crusade to free his family from the chains of oppression. Looking at his greying fur I just wanted to scream; Can’t you just leave an old ape be!

A tell of good storytelling is when the audience sides with the characters that are least similar to themselves. Obviously in this case I’m talking about the Apes. It’s funny that you just sit wanting the humans to fail and basically route for their destruction. There was a grey area in the other movies where some humans were on the Apes side, showing an alternative to the less humane humans. War for the Planet of the Apes was strictly Humans vs Apes, and when the chips were down, we routed against ourselves.

No spoilers but the overall ending is debatable in its viewer acceptance. You either feel a sense of relief, or you feel cheated. I haven’t decided which side of the fence I am on yet, however the approach taken definitely fell on the spectrum, somewhere between poetic and theological.

War Apes Bad Guys

Two quick shout out to makes.

The first goes to the Soundtrack, which was so dope. It flowed perfectly with whatever situation was going on, it took the backseat when necessary and came charging in, front and centre when called for. It invoked emotion and it accompanied the story. If you haven’t watched the movie yet then pay special attention to the Soundtrack: You won’t be disappointed.

Second shout out naturally goes to the effects: I don’t know or understand how they do all that computer generated imagery, visual effects, animation, voodoo mumbo jumbo, but it was amazing. The close up shots of the apes faces were so realistic, and I loved how they showed off by getting you in so close you could count every single hair follicle, almost daring you to find a fault.


What’s Next? As we know by now, Hollywood refuses to leave well enough alone. Word on the grapevine is that there is a forth and fifth movie in talks, despite how War of the Planet of the Apes closed the story. Oyvey. Can’t we wait ten years? Give us all a chance to move on then get excited? What’s the rush?


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