Hello, Spongey here.
Told ya this would be late…by one day. Yeah, the opportunity came earlier than expected. Anyway, here I am to discuss the latest entry in a rebooted version of a big franchise.
Planet of the Apes is one of those classics I’ve sadly never seen. I do know what happens thanks to everyone and their mom spoofing it. I also never saw it’s sequel or Tim Burton’s adaptation of that same book.
No, it’s not a remake. Stop saying it is.
I however, have now seen the previous entries in this reboot. No one was sure what Rise of the Planet of the Apes would be but as it turns, it was really good. It has it’s dull spots, and the character that aren’t Ceaser or Franco was kinda of meh, but it still boosted great effects, and a strong story with a great turn from Andy Serkisk.
I saw it around when it came out but didn’t get to watch Dawn until this week to ready for this movie. It’s an even better sequel with a way more serious tone and plenty of great moments. Even if again, the side characters are just okay.
So far this franchise has shown to us how to reboot a classic. It pays homage while doing it’s own thing and being more thought provoking than most summer movies. Natrually, the hype was on for the 3rd entry.
But some were unsure of how it would turn out. Turns, it has a 94 on RT and is hailed as one of the best of the year so far. Damn, that’s great. There’s a lot of hugely praised films so far this year it seems.
And usually I just add to the praise. Ah well. Our director did Dawn and before that had Cloverfeild so we’re in solid hands here. He’s a writer along with another guy who has written stuff like Die Hard 4, The Wolverine and…Insurgent.
Eh, nobody’s perfect. So is this film as amazing as everyone says it is, or will it me go apeshit on it?
This, is War for the Planet of the Apes
Caesar’s clan is at war with the human military faction known as Alpha-Omega. Caesar’s clan hides in Muir Woods, and Caesar offers the humans peace if the apes are left alone. This conflict has become further complicated as various apes, including the gorilla Red (a former follower of Koba), have joined Alpha-Omega after being disillusioned with Caesar’s leadership, in fear of retaliation from Caesar due to their betrayal.
Learning that Alpha-Omega follows the leadership of a mysterious Colonel, Caesar makes plans to relocate the clan across the desert, not wanting to suffer any more ape casualties after Koba’s wrath on San Francisco. Then a human girl joins them and it’s all depressing from there.
Remember how I just said I tend to join in the praise films get this year? This ain’t stopping that trend. This movie is really great on every level. It has very minor issues and admittedly it’s not always my thing, but objectively this is a triumph of film. That may be a bit much but it’s still really really good.
I’ll address the little issues. Like the others, it has it’s dull spots, mostly thanks to the 2 hour plus runtime and the human girl, Nova is a tad useless. She gets a great scene showing she’s pretty brave but as a whole, she’s just…there. She doesn’t add a whole lot the film.
It’s certainly not a big deal at all but she’s not exactly the girl from Logan. And like the others, some characters just kinda exist like the wife but it didn’t bug as much as in the other movies because of how much stronger the others are.
That’s it for the flaws, onto the rest. As others will tell you, this is a really bleak and serious movie Dawn was too but this takes it a new level. There’s a point where it pretty much turns into Schinlder’s list.
And while that sounds silly, it works extremely well. Mostly because the first two films gave us a solid set up. The first film had it’s fun stuff but set up some interesting situations, especially in terms of Caesar’s development.
So they earned the dark tone in Dawn and this takes it even further. The story starts off slightly aimless but gets tighter once they set off. Like Dawn, it raises some pretty deep questions about human nature and this time they dabble in different genres.
It even turns into The Great Escape, but without losing a single beat. It takes a risk for a Summer blockbuster by being more serious and thoughtful without much action and it pays off. There’s action but it’s less spectacular than even in Dawn.
It’s really more about the apes and their journey. Speaking of, the character list is smaller this time which means more time to devote to them. Even the smaller can at least have a good moment or two.
Bad Ape, played by Steve Zahn, supplies some humor which is surprisingly not out of place. He has a good backstory and plays a part in the plot. His jokes work here and are often amusing. There’s one that was a bit lame but it didn’t ruin anything.
Maurice provides good support and great moments too, just like in Dawn. He just makes more an impact here. The villain played by Woody Harelson is surprisingly complex with his backstory and how things turn out but is still really threatening.
They assembled a stronger supporting cast for this one, which is good. But as usual,,Caesar’ steals the show. His emotional journey has been the crux of the franchise and it hits it’s stride here.
As with other elements, Dawn kicked him up a notch with him balancing his mixed feelings on humans with his love for his apes, and here it goes further especially given what he has to deal with.
It’s utterly fascinating and as always, Andy Serkis gives an excellent performance. Oh and yes the CGI is amazing. Some of the best I’ve ever seen. With the help of the animators and motion capture, they created some fantastic characters. Not once did I think I was looking at an effect. I was looking at real living creatures.
I would say they perfected it but we also said that about Dawn and this is even better on that level. The visuals aside from that are solid too with some pretty shots. They manage to make the film bleak without making it look drab or boring.
The directing sells the emotion even more. There’s plenty of strong moments here from start to finish, most of them character driven. We’ve gotten to know Caesar and the apes through these movies which makes the pay off even stronger.
Everything is all just rock solid and really riveting and it makes up for any nitpick I could have, including what I’ve mentioned before. It’s hard to really say more as a lot of the film speaks for itself,and a lot of people have said what I needed to say.
I’m not tonally sure if the objective value of my subjective view is stronger on this film as the flaws can either be seen as just me or actually minor things that exist like Nova being just okay.
Not a big deal just something I thinking of. It’s great either way and I have no issue with people calling it amazing. Because it’s still incredibly strong with it’s powerful story,amazing visuals, and Caesar’s strong journey, along with some great performances.
The new Apes films have been so much stronger than they have any right to be, especially being a Reboot Prequel Series. They more than justified their existence by telling their own solid story.
Should they do more? Well, it’s a very solid ending to a clear trilogy but there’s a clear way they can continue. If they get the same team, or keep it in tune, sure. But I wouldn’t mind them ending here and moving on.
I didn’t exactly add a whole lot new besides my usual nitpicking. I just didn’t a whole lot to say than this is a great and powerful film that makes up for the nitpicks with just how good it is. It’s a great end to a really solid reboot series that you should all say.
Just keep in mind that the film is pretty serious and those wanting a fun war film should stay away if this isn’t you’re thing. But if it is, please check it out. It’s awesome and well worth your time and money.
Grade: B+ (Great) (Subject to change).
Sorry for a shorter one, but there’s not too much to say. It’s just great, doesn’t go much deeper than that.
Next time….well I think this sums it up: