The final showdown between Apes and Humans in War for the Planet of the Apes brings the franchise to a successful close. Audience members will leave the cinema feeling amazed but shocked (in a good way), and thinking about the impact humanity has on other species and how cruel we can be.
This third instalment follows the aftermath of Koba’s declaration of war in the second film, when humans continue to attack the apes, and Caesar (Andy Serkis) fights to defend his followers and their territory. Caesar together with Luca (Mathew Adamthwaite), Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Rocket (Terry Notary) must journey to find the humans’ base after an attack by the sadistic human Colonel (Woody Harrelson).
Just like the last two films, War does not fail to impress. This time, the audience is introduced to Nova (Amiah Miller), a girl who the apes picks up during their journey and is apparently unable to speak. The young actress’ abilities are very solid, as she convincingly expresses so many emotions without dialogue. Andy Serkis motion capture work is great as usual. You will also be overwhelmed by the majestic shots of the Canadian Rockies, which is set against a touching musical soundtrack.
Although the film portrays the conflict from both sides, you will probably be inclined to despise the human soldiers and support Caesar’s apes. The men are inhumane and murderous, while the apes show compassion, mercy and family values. The humanity (ironically) is shown through the amazing acting and the ultra-realistic CGI. It is the visual effects that made this reboot much more successful than its predecessors.
Despite the amazing cast, the acting Harrelson falls slightly short as he overdoes the part. You may also found yourself questioning the male-centred setting of the human military camp: Where are all the women? If the humans win, how will they reproduce to rebuild their population?
Even with its flaws, War for the Planet of the Apes is arguably the best among the trilogy. See it on the big screen while you can and follow Caesar: Apes together strong!
Edited by Jamie Lam