War for the Planet of the Apes - Review

War for the Planet of the Apes

One of my favourite science fiction franchises as a child was the Planet of the Apes. I loved the movies and the TV show. It really captured my imagination.

 I have really been enjoying the reboot of the Planet of the Apes (not including the Tim Burton one). They have been able to find the perfect balance of both a moving story and entertaining action.

 The War for the Planet of the Apes hits the target again. This third instalment is a satisfying conclusion to the life of Caesar.

 To be honest, this was not what I expected from the movie. I thought (based on the previews) that it was going to be a massive battle between the humans and the apes. It was nothing so predictable as that.

 What we do find is a fascinating character study of an ape who struggles as both a leader and as someone who loves his family. Having been betrayed by Koba in the last movie, an ape who couldn't let go of his hatred toward humans, Caesar fears he is going down the same path.

 Warning: Spoiler Alert One of the main events in this movie concerns the virus that had killed much of the human race. That virus has mutated and is causing some humans to lose the ability to speak. This is significant as the original Planet of the Apes movie took place in a future where the apes were dominant and humans couldn't speak and were considered little more than animals. Is this setting things up for another instalment? This new symptom of the virus is also the spark that ignites the harsh measures by the Colonel who is leading a large group of soldiers.

 There are a number of parallels in this movie to other events. The treatment of the apes by the humans is done in a way to invoke thoughts of the concentration camps of World war Two. Caesar also comes across as a type of Moses that brings his people to the promised land through the wilderness. Before you think this movie is too dark, there is some humour. A new ape is introduced, who brings a lighter side to a serious story.

 Is the end for the Plant of the Apes? While the story ends at a nice place, there is the potential for the future. Caesar's young son Cornelius is introduced in this movie and he is a character who was important in the original films. There is also the changing state of the humans that looks like what was seen before.

Finally, there is the missing astronauts who were briefly mentioned in the first movie in this trilogy. All the pieces in place to bring us to a story not unlike the original Planet of the Apes movie. I really enjoyed the War for the Planet of the Apes. It was a good story with good acting. I cared about the characters and liked where the story went. I recommend this movie.