War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller, Terry Notary
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Written by: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr 20 min.
On this trip to the movies I was joined by my brother, Andrew, and my niece, Kaitlyn. Andrew and myself had seen and enjoyed the first two movies in this series. This was Kaitlyn’s first Ape movie, ever.
This movie flips the script on what a big summer blockbuster should be. Instead of bombastic pyrotechnics and overblown histrionics, we’re treated to great character moments and incredibly photorealistic CGI. Make no mistake folks, War for the Planet of the Apes understands that an effective movie going experience isn’t necessarily achieved by upping the explosive ante. And that great characters are the key to a memorable movie you’ll want to own and watch again.
I was so engrossed in this film, I didn’t realize my niece was bawling her eyes out! Such was the emotional impact of this movie, and a testament to how each film in this series can stand on its own. I loved how subtle this film was, and how it spent time exploring each main player in this story. Established characters were given space to grow, and the newcomers, Nova (Amiah Miller) and Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) were a delight to watch in every scene they were in. Woody Harrelson was also good in this as, The Colonel; Caesar’s foil, and last emotionally damaged remnant of humankind desperate to survive.
Director Matt Reeves (who directed the last installment in the series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) hits another home run. Andy Serkis and company, along with the magicians at Weta Digital, once again build realistic emotive characters an audience can relate to, and Michael Giacchino’s score is superb. My family heartily recommends you see this film.
If you enjoyed the other films in the series, I think you’ll enjoy this too. The trailer for the film suggests there will be a lot of action. There is some and it’s good, but this is more character centric.
Best Moment: << spoilers >>
There are so many great moments in this film, it’s hard to pick one. Caesar’s tense conversation with the turncoat, Winter (Aleks Paunovic); Maurice’s first contact with Nova; The first conversation the apes have with, Bad Ape. All mesmerizing!