Caesar the moment!
Written By: Rick Masters
From Caesars humble beginnings, to the spread of the human virus, to the best film of the 3, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES has to be one of the greatest trilogies ever created!
With special effects and motion capture so stunning that you forget you‘re watching CGI apes for the majority of its run time, WAR is a flagship movie for how far we have come in SFX world.
We follow Caesar from the very beginning, an Ape that we‘ve seen go from innocent child to cruelly–treated animal to fair and peaceful leader. He wanted nothing more than protection for his family and his tribe. The genius twist in this series of films is that we humans are the bad guys. We find ourselves rooting for the Apes and in some deep and intelligent way it becomes more than just a film but an eye opening realization of how dangerous and cruel humans can be.
Andy Serkis plays Caesar and does one of the finest jobs I‘ve ever seen in portraying an emotionally damaged and morally confused CGI character. It is so beautifully captured you can actually see the pain in his eyes, the heartbreak of losing love ones and the anger growing inside him.
Other characters who fight alongside Caesar do equally amazing performances and Steve Hahn who we‘re introduced to in this brings along a healthy dose of comic relief, perfectly balanced to avoid WAR becoming just a tad too depressing and grim.
Woody Harrelson is this films main villain and provides a stellar performance with one particular scene so intense I‘d challenge anyone to not be pulled into that room with them!
It‘s an incredibly powerful script with a very somber tone but is never depressing. There‘s a great theme here consciousness and the darker parts of human nature, and the film runs the gamut of being heartbreaking, suspenseful, moving, and even inspiring.
The film is bookended with battles and the opening shots are stunning, drifting above the battle scene as the war rages on below. Its beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The director Matt Reeves doesn’t revel in the violence in any way and it is sparingly dashed throughout the film. A small part of me wanted more WAR come the end of it but upon looking back I realise that it would have been unnecessary. Not so much a War of the explosive kind but more of a emotional inner conflict within Caesar himself.
The pacing for the most part is perfect however the beginning of the final act does seem a little rushed and a few questionable events happen all too quickly. It‘s not enough to spoil the film in any considerable way and it soon leads into a very satisfying climax.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is an epic action film with a strong emotional core to the story that genuinely moved me. A lot of love has gone into this entire trilogy and Matt Reeves has created something truly special here.