War for the Planet of the Apes Review

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War for the Planet of the Apes is a continuation and final piece of the three movie Caesar arc in the rebooted Planet of the Apes film franchise that took the world by storm.   For those unfamiliar with the new set of Planet of the Apes films, we watch the rise of Caesar, a young ape who was experimented on by humans and given intelligence and speech, lead his fellow apes to freedom while humanity experiences death on a global scale, due to an outbreak called the Simian Flu.  The second film in the franchise, shows humans and apes creating a tenuous peace, which eventually breaks down and leads to the new film, War for the Planet of the Apes.

This film revolves around the apes attempting to defend themselves and escape from the constant attacks of human soldiers, but despite the growing number of apes and the decimation of the human population due to the Simian Flu, the apes are still outnumbered and outgunned.  War for the Planet of the Apes, seems as if it would just be a big series of battles between humans and apes, but in actuality it is a more intimate tale of family, betrayal, loss, revenge and redemption. Unlike the Planet of the Apes films from the 60s and 70s, which showed the apes as the villains, here we see the movie from the perspective of the apes, and you can’t help but sympathize with them as they attempt to avoid a life of servitude and extermination.  For true fans of the apes, a number of Easter egg hints were dropped laying the foundation for the futuristic Planet of the Apes, as well as identifying why the humans in the future of the original apes movies were so docile.

Now from what I have seen, there have been a number of arguments breaking out online about how the apes represent this group or that group of oppressed people.  Too be honest, the filmmakers borrow from a number of different experiences that people of the world have suffered at the hands of their fellow man.  The last scene of Caesar brought to my mind Moses, and his ability to bring his people to the promise land, but not enter it. You can find any theme you want in this movie.

War for the Planet of the Apes is a nice bookend to the Caesar trilogy, and I definitely look forward to more.  Fans and non-fans alike should enjoy the film, even if you did not see the first two.

Grade: B+


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