It's been a while since I've seen the other two films in the "Planet of the Apes" reboot series, but I remember really liking "Rise" and liking "Dawn", but not as much. When the reviews started coming out for this entry I was in denial that it could be that good. It was.
It's really hard to classify what this film is. While it is set during the eponymous war, it only has some elements of a war film. Instead, many of the beats of the film fit that of a revenge thriller. The film also contains many elements of a family melodrama. As such, this creates an insanely intriguing tone that kept me thoroughly involved in the film. There is comedic relief, too, mostly in the form of the new character Bad Ape, who was a welcome addition. The commentary in the film was also great. At times, it seems like it's a metaphor for the Civil War, which is a really interesting perspective to take. The film has a lot to say about society, and it does it well, but I think what this film is lacking that kept it from being amazing was a great monologue. Both of the previous films had a really impactful speech made by a member of both sides, and this film didn't have one of as much depth. The rest of the film does have a way of impacting the viewer's emotions, which made the film all the more interesting and enjoyable.
I still marvel at how well this series is made. The way in which they created the apes through motion capture and CGI is really impressive. The entire cast needs to be applauded, but Andy Serkis's work is undeniably praiseworthy. He has the performance down to the mannerisms. His performance is the reason why the ethical dilemma comes into play because he is able to blend both human and simian qualities into the character. Woody Harrelson is great as the antagonist of the film. He is perfectly menacing, but also masters the more human elements of the character. The set design of the film is also excellent. It really elicits a sense of dread because it is so realistic that it could be a future world of ours ravaged by disease. The score was the best score of the year so far. I loved the percussive melodies that comprised a majority of it. Sometimes it was used to juxtapose the imagery, changing the tone of the scene.
Overall, I really liked "War for the Planet of the Apes". It's an interesting, thought-provoking film that is far more intelligent than your average Hollywood blockbuster. It still satisfies your craving for action while bringing an excellent story to the table. Still, I can't help but feeling that a little bit was missing to keep this film from being truly excellent.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.