Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Film Review: "War For the Planet of the Apes" (2017).

"Witness the end." This is War For the Planet of the Apes. This science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. It is a sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot series. Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. 

After the rough cut preview and release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment announced a third installment with Reeves returning to direct and co-write along with Bomback, and Peter Chernin, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver serving as producers. In May 2015, the title was first given as War for the Planet of the Apes and was given a July 29, 2016, release date. With a release date set, this led to an accelerated production schedule. However, Fox wanted to give the third instalment plenty of time to be developed. In January 2015, Fox postponed the film's release date to July 14, 2017. Andy Serkis and previous cast members, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Judy Greer and Devyn Dalton, were announced to return. In September 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Woody Harrelson had been cast. In October 2015, TheWrap reported that Steve Zahn was cast. Principal photography on the film began in October 2015 and concluded in March 2016. The film was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As with Rise and Dawn, the visual effects for War were created by Weta Digital; the apes were created with a mixture of motion-capture and CGI key-frame animation.

The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval and Terry Notary. Serkis has given another outstanding turn as Caesar and has sealed his place in Planet of the Apes lore and fandom. Harrelson's The Colonel was a bit less interesting to watch than Kebbell's Koba, despite giving the best rogue military leader since Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979). Lastly, Zahn stole the show and gave a performance that could have easily had people laugh at him.

War For the Planet of the Apes is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes the outstanding reboot series in spectacular fashion. Even if it’s not as ambitious, throughtful and potent as Dawn. Reeves' film is a reminder that the Planet of the Apes films aren't merely a frivolous distraction, but an embodiment of our selves. War is a worthy, epic conclusion to a trilogy that has raised the bar for an entire genre.

Simon says War For the Planet of the Apes receives:

See my review for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at http://ss-film.blogspot.ca/2014/07/film-review-dawn-of-planet-of-apes-2014.html

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