Monday, 17 July 2017

War For The Planet Of The Apes Film Review

I saw War for the Planet of the Apes last week directed by Matt Reeves. A virus called Simian flu, understandably, has wiped out most of humanity, and made those infected unable to speak, and thus reduced to monkey gibberish. I wondered if this was why, in the original Planet of the Apes films when the astronauts came back to Earth, the human population were mute and caged by the much more advanced apes.

In the new film we have the apes living as a large family group led by Andy Serkis's Caesar, and being attacked by Woody Harrelson's soldiers. Those soldiers that survive are sent back to The Colonel as a truce that it's over. Caesar wants to live peacefully with his family far away from man across a desert his son Blue Eyes has described. However the Colonel ignores the warning and sends more troops and in the fight Caesar's wife and Blue Eyes are killed.

Sending the apes on the journey to the new home his son described, Caesar sets out alone to find The Colonel and make him pay for killing his family. But his loyal gorilla, ape and orangutang follow and join him. They come across a lone homestead and Maurice the orangutang takes pity on a mute girl, Caesar grudgingly lets her come along, or she will die Maurice pleads.

Fascinatingly the characters ceased to be what the brain recognises as CGI and became live action with tender feelings and brutal strength. Along the trip the motley crew meet a funny little chimp voiced by the also funny Steve Zahn. A great additional character who can talk and leads them to where The Colonel's camp is. And where the Colonel intends to meet with soldiers from the North. To destroy them or the Apes?

Overall it was a great film with Caesar conflicted by visions of the militant ape Koba from the past, and deep misgivings that he may have become full of hatred as Koba was.

The ending may have been planned as the final film in the trilogy but as it has performed well there may be more to follow. Although as much as I enjoyed it I think I would prefer this to be the end, rather than complete the circle to the scary 1970's films of my youth, when man was in the cage.

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