War for the Planet of the Apes Review: A CGI masterpiece

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War for the Planet of the Apes absolutely nails everything… nearly.

Before I begin, I need to mention that while the title says ‘War’, it does not have a heavy focus on the ‘war’ aspect.

I think a lot of people who are expecting to have a full-blown war and epic battles might be disappointed. Now that’s not to say War for the Planet of the Apes isn’t great, because it truly is.

But more on that later. Without further ado, let’s get on with the review.

War for the Planet of the Apes is Matt Reeve’s third instalment to the masterpiece that is the Planet of the Apes movies.

With the well-received success of Rise and Dawn, Reeves had to live up to the expectations that people had for a perfect conclusion to a perfect trilogy. But of course, with Matt Reeve’s taking the reins once again, I was more than confident that War wouldn’t be a disappointment. And I’m glad that I was right.

For starters, this movie looks amazing. Both the editing and cinematography is done in such a seamless fashion, and really helps to accentuate the varying tones that play out through the movie.

But I have to talk about the CGI in this series, because it truly is a masterpiece. In a world of flying spaceships and web-slinging heroes, Planet of the Apes has by far one of the most surreal special effects in a film.

Tell me they don’t look real? Source: Comic Book Movie

Just look at every individual strand of hair on these animals and tell me that they don’t look realistic. You can’t, because they genuinely look real.

Of course it’s a crime to compliment the apes without talking about Andy Serkis’ iconic performance. As with all his other roles, he really helps bring these characters to life with a heavy emphasis on movement and facial features. Especially for these kinds of special effects, it’s hard for an actor to pull it off – something that Serkis has achieved perfectly.

Now one of the best things represented through these movies is their concept of good and evil, in that there is often a blurred line between the two. For a movie about humanity VS ape survival, it’s imperative that both sides are well addressed.

It’s not one evil dictator trying to do evil, but instead a matter of survival. The humans don’t want to be wiped out and become extinct, while the apes just want to live peacefully. That’s the best thing about Planet of the Apes. It’s not a war, but a battle for survival.

Woody Harrelson as a selfless dictator? Source: Vox

This is, of course, really well emphasised throughout the entire film.

While the film features a group of apes trying to survive under the wrath of mankind, there are several characters that make allegiances with the opposite side. For example, there are apes who fight for the humans, while on the other hand, there is a little girl who helps the apes survives (she’s a great actor by the way).

Much more than your generic black-and-white film. Source: 20th Century Fox

Something I also wanted to touch on was the soundtrack. I’m not too sure if this was similar to the other Ape movies, but I was astounded by the film’s tribal and 60s sci-fi style soundtrack. It was a perfect throwback to the original Planet of the Apes series in the 60s and 70s. It also helped accentuate the film’s wilderness and almost tribal environment (apes living together).

Now, as aforementioned, the only main issue I have with the film isn’t exactly about the film entirely.

The marketing and title implies a full-blown war between the apes and humanity, an epic battle to mark the end of a great trilogy. I reckon that’s what would make people feel disappointed in the overall story arc because they never got the war.

But that doesn’t, in any way, detract from the quality of the film. As said before, the movie is very real and very dramatic, but it’s also movie that makes you think.

As epic and action-filled as Dawn? Source: Screen Rant

It’s hard for a movie to make me walk out of the cinema thinking about evolution and mankind, and War for the Planet of the Apes was able to do this perfectly.

This isn’t exactly either a positive or a negative that I have with the film, merely just a thought. I was really thrilled with all the references and easter eggs that a diehard Planet of the Apes fan might discover, hinting at the original series’ lore.

I loved the introduction of several iconic characters that some fans may recognise from the original series and I’m excited to see this new world develop into a much larger, extended world where apes dominate the planet. Now, all I’m waiting for is astronauts to land on Earth and be shocked at what happened to their home.

Lots of references to the original series to look for! Source: 20th Century Fox

I walked into this movie expecting something that I wanted, and walked out of it with different ideas and concepts I didn’t know I needed.

War for the Planet of the Apes is the perfect conclusion to a brilliant trilogy. Regardless of whether they decide to continue the series or not (and I really hope they do), we can be grateful for the fact that Caesar’s trilogy will always be as perfect as we think it is.

Final Rating: 9/10

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