Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

War for the Planet of the Apes

Its odd; I really enjoyed both Rise and Dawn, but I never felt a lot of excitement towards the concluding chapter in this new Planet of the Apes trilogy.  I can’t really say why, I just wasn’t.  I didn’t bother to see it in theaters, and only now caught it on video.  There’s really no reason for my disinterest, and after watching it I realize that it was totally unearned.  This was an excellent movie, capping off a really strong modern movie trilogy.

The third film sees Caesar’s tribe trying to find a way out of their forest where they are being hunted by a military group bent on wiping them out.  After a series of events, Caesar and a small band go on a mission to take out the human’s leader, predictably played by Woody Harrelson.  Along the way, we get some interesting story points to keep you invested throughout.

The foundation of these films is the character of Caesar and how a CGI chimp is able to become a fully realized and respectable character.  Its easy to see why he becomes a legend in this universe and he is truly a character to cheer for and empathize with.  He goes through a lot in this movie.

War of the Apes is solid action movie film-making.  It looks great, with some neat locations (such as an abandoned ski hill), characters you really care about, and genuine tension.   And as a Planet of the Apes fan, there are a lot of cool callbacks to the original without being too hokey about it, with varying degrees of subtly.  There’s also one major plot twist in particular that has a direct connection to the original.

In the end I highly recommend War of the Apes, as well as its two predecessors (and the original 1968 film of course, but that should go without saying).  Each of the three movies are strongly connected yet unique, and together they make a great storytelling saga in this time of Hollywood blockbuster madness.


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