I just want to say how great this trailer is. It is so epic, so teasing and it does the one key thing a trailer should do. Make you want to watch the film without giving the actual plot away. This. THIS. It is so god damn important and it is almost like Hollywood has lost this skill in recent years.
The third film in the Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy. Humanity is at its breaking point. Tension runs high between the Apes and humans. Despite all this, WAR for the planet of the apes is actually a bit misleading. Not to say that there are not some great massive action set pieces but this film is not just some big, dumb war for survival between the 2 factions. It is much more complicated than that. I have told everyone and I will say it here again, even if you did not really like or have not watched the first 2 films, absolutely give this masterpiece of a film a chance.
Once again, I will endeavor to deliver my thoughts on the film without spoiling much but due to trying to avoid spoilers, this review might come off a bit short. Do not take this as me not being able to find aspects of the film to praise.
I will say this: With repeated viewings of this film my score might decrease as some films tend to deteriorate after that initial strong impression. However, as it stands, with me only having only seen the film once, War For The Planet Of The Apes is one of the best films I have had the pleasure to experience in my life. It is an absolute masterpiece and I was constantly in awe throughout the long runtime of this film.
About the plot. It starts off as you might expect, being very war-like but the story soon takes an unexpected twist and you soon feel like you are watching a very different film. The film certainly did not end the way I expected it to going in and it has been a long time where I have been pleasantly surprised by the plot of a film. In fact quite a few smaller plot points also ended up resolving itself in unexpected ways.
The characters, my oh my the characters. Despite the title, this film is actually very much a character-driven drama. I would say that the most emotional performance here is coming from the apes and the actors/actresses doing the mocap and vfx team both deserve so much praise here. The film’s plot focuses heavily on the character arc of Caesar which was fantastic but it ended up overshadowing the other characters a bit too much I feel. This might be one of the only few flaws of the film I can think of after much thought. Of the humans, the little girl deserves a lot of praise too and there are many scenes where she emotionally anchors the film. For a child actor to nail this role which required a lot of physical acting, it is just amazing. Woody Harrelson also delivers a stellar performance as the antagonist of the film but even his ruthlessness is given some motivation and he is not just being evil for the sake of the plot.
The cinematography in this film is absolutely breathtaking and every shot feels meticulously crafted. There are quite a few wide shots that literally took my breath away, being so picturesque. It is very much a post-apocalyptic world and the environmental shots are equal parts haunting and beautiful. I got a very “The Last Of Us” vibe especially during the snowy forest section.
Lastly, the soundtrack. I will freely admit that I do not think I have enough experience to critique a film’s soundtrack as for the most part I am not too particular about it. However, it felt like the soundtrack for this film elevated every scene to even greater heights and if someone like me who has not much preference for soundtracks noticed it…well they definitely did something right with this film.
Please. Absolutely give this film a chance. It is a very strong film to end the trilogy on but it also stands up very well as its own thing. Also the director Matt Reeves, is now the director of The Batman and says that he is going to do his own vision of the film. Seeing the heights he has achieved this film and with Ben Affleck as Batman, I have high hopes for the film too.