WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES – A Review by John Strange
It's been two years since the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes occurred. Caesar (Andy Serkis) has moved his tribe of apes deep into the woods hoping to find peace. But that peace is not to be found. Caesar plans to move the tribe across a desert in the hopes they can elude the military unit called the Alpha-Omegas. They are a faction of the U.S. Army that refuses to allow the apes to live.
On the eve of the move, the ape camp is attacked by the Alpha-Omegas. In the battle, Caesar's wife and eldest son are murdered. Caesar is heartbroken when he finds the bodies, only ameliorated when Cornelius (Devyn Dalton) comes out of hiding.
Caesar gathers the remains of the tribe and prepares to move them toward their hoped-for safe haven. he leaves the move to his lieutenants while he plans to set out to avenge the deaths of not only his family but all of the deaths. His target is the Colonel (Woody Harrelson), the mysterious leader of the Alpha-Omegas, and the man who personally killed his wife and son. His advisors force him to allow them to accompany him on his mission.
Their journey is as harsh as the winter weather they slog through. Their encounters with humans give us a close view of the mutated virus' effects. (Humans affected by the virus lose the ability to speak.) When they discover that the army unit has captured the rest of the apes, the mission changes from revenge to rescue.
The Alpha-Omegas have a fortified base along the coast. This is where they take the apes. The location, cloaked in snow, will see the main action of the film. Will Caesar be able to rescue the apes? Will he get revenge on the Colonel? Will the apes ever get to their safe haven? Most importantly, will all of this action be worth the cost of the ticket?
All good questions. I am not going to give away what I feel is the best part of the movie. The apes have a destiny that we know will protect their kind though not individuals. It is these individuals that save the day for the heroes. Their actions are the stuff we go to the movies to watch. The writers have given us a strong story that director Matt Reeves and an excellent cast have brought to life before our eyes.
I have enjoyed this series immensely. The action has vibes reminiscent of films like The Great Escape and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. What started in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and continued in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues with this strong new entry to the saga. War For The Planet Of The Apes is an excellent film worthy of your dollars in this competitive summer film season.
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer, Terry Notar
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Selig Rating: A
Runtime: 137 Min.
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.